Peak summer quarter trading at InterContinental Hotels Group during the Covid-19 pandemic saw occupancy and revenue decline.

The key measure of revenue per available room (revpar) was down by 53% year-on-year, reflecting a 30% reduction in occupancy with rate at 80% of the previous year’s level.

Occupancy levels improved to 44% from 25% in the second quarter while 199 hotels or 3% of the portfolio remained closed by September 30 – the end of the company’s third quarter.

Leisure demand in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa led to the rate of revpar decline improving in July and August, before weakening in September, the hotel giant said in a trading update.

Chief executive Keith Barr said: “A full industry recovery will take time and uncertainty remains regarding the potential for further improvement in the short term, but we take confidence from the steps taken to protect and support our owners and drive demand back to our hotels as guests feel safe to travel.”

Trading improved in the third quarter, although progress continues to vary by region,” he said.

“Revpar declined 53%, compared to a 75% decline in the prior quarter, while occupancy was 44%, up from 25% in Q2.

“Domestic mainstream travel remains the most resilient, and our industry-leading Holiday Inn brand family positions us well to meet that demand as it slowly returns.”

Barr added: “Despite the challenges we’ve faced, we have continued to open new hotels and sign more into our pipeline.

“This is recognition of consumer preference for our brands and strong owner relationships, and also the long-term attractiveness of the markets we operate in and the relative resilience of our business model.

“We signed 82 hotels in the quarter, taking us to 263 year-to-date, more than a quarter of which are conversions.

“As we continue to invest in growth initiatives, we do so with a strict focus on cost reduction and an unwavering commitment to act responsibly for our people, guests, owners and local communities.”