IHG says it plans to add a new hotel brand to its portfolio in the coming weeks in the lifestyle and luxury segment.
The new brand aims to tap into growing demand in the luxury and lifestyle space, according to IHG, with independent hotels keen to sign up after struggling through the pandemic.
IHG, which says it is already strong in luxury and lifestyle with almost 450 properties, will grow the new brand organically rather than through acquisition. IHG's luxury/lifestyle brands are InterContinental, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Six Senses, Regent and Voco.
Reporting second-quarter results for the three-month period ending June 30, 2021, IHG revealed occupancy of 53%. Occupancy in June stood at 69% for its U.S. properties, 54% in China and 40% in the EMEA region.
The operating profit for the group, whose brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, came in at $138 million for the half year, up from 2020's loss of $233 million. Revenue was reported as $1.18 billion, down from $1.25 billion for the first half of 2020.
While the recovery is dominated by domestic leisure travel, the company says groups, meetings and events are beginning to book again but a question remains over the degree of discretionary business travel booking in the third and fourth quarters as well as into 2022.
Keith Barr, chief executive of IHG, says: "Trading improved significantly during the first half of 2021, with travel demand returning strongly as vaccines roll out, restrictions ease and economic activity rebuilds. Essential business travel was a key element of our resilience throughout the pandemic, and we are now seeing more group activity and corporate bookings start to come back."