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July/August 2017
For Business, Corporate Travel & Meeting Buyers & Arrangers

Demand 'surging' for London's hotels

London skyline

Strong demand for London hotels has boosted revenues at both Marriott International and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Marriott International made an operating profit of more than US$1.16 billion in the first half of 2017 as it reaped the benefits of its takeover of Starwood.

The hotel giant recorded a 53 per cent rise in profits compared with the same period in 2016, as revenue from the expanded company increased by 48 per cent year-on-year to US$11.4 billion.

Marriott’s CEO Arne Sorenson said the company put in a “solid performance” in the second quarter of this year with global revpar rising by 2 per cent.

Sorenson said there had been “particularly strong transient demand in the Europe and Asia Pacific regions” and added that there had been “surging demand” in London, Barcelona and Shanghai.

“Integration of the Starwood transaction is on track,” said Sorenson. “We've rolled out Guest Voice to measure guest feedback, introduced SPG Mobile check-in and check-out in North America, and achieved procurement and OTA cost savings.”

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) also said it had seen “strong trading” in both London and across the rest of the UK.

Overall UK revpar for IHG’s hotels went up by 6.7 per cent during the first half of 2017, driven by a 9 per cent rise in London and a 5.4 per cent increase in the UK regions.

IHG’s revpar across Europe as a whole rose by 6.2 per cent with German properties going up by 2.3 per cent. The company added that “trading in Paris continues to recover”.

The UK-based company made an operating profit of US$370 million for the year up to June 30 – an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year. IHG’s revenue was up by 2 per cent to US$857 million year-on-year.

Keith Barr, IHG’s new chief executive, said the company has enjoyed “a good first half” to the year.

“We continue to make good progress in executing our well-established strategy to deliver high quality sustainable growth, and during the half we passed the landmark of over one million open or pipeline rooms,” added Barr.

“My focus is on driving an acceleration in our growth rate, by increasing the resources dedicated behind the highest opportunity markets and segments, strengthening our brand portfolio, building on our leading loyalty proposition, and enhancing our competitive advantage through prioritising digital and technological innovation.”

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