Hotels

“A trend in the right direction”: IHG boss welcomes return of hotel demand in Greater China

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) chief executive Keith Barr has followed the lead of Marriott’s boss by issuing his own video message in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shared on IHG’s Twitter profile earlier this week, Barr acknowledged the difficult decisions the company’s corporate colleagues, hotel teams, owners and partners are being forced to make every day due to the impact of the coronavirus on business.

“Undoubtedly, this is the biggest test our industry’s ever faced. In over 25 years working in hospitality, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

“I believe we will all get through this together and recover in time. But right now, our focus is on the health and wellbeing of our people and our guests, and on doing everything possible to protect our hotel owners and IHG.

“I wish we had all the answers, but we don’t. Nobody does.”

Barr noted some of the ways IHG is responding to the crisis, including waiving guest cancellation fees, flexing its loyalty program, working to help owners contain costs, supporting colleagues working remotely, funding relief efforts, providing accommodation for those needing to self-isolate, and working with governments across the world to help its owners continue to operate and safeguard as many jobs as possible.

The IHG boss also said there were “some signs of encouragement for all of us” in Greater China.

“The number of new cases for infection are falling, people are starting to go back to work and, for our industry, we’re seeing some demand for hotels return,” he said.

“Far from business where it used to be, but a trend in the right direction.”

Check out Barr’s video message in full below:

IHG hotels around the world have also lit up their windows with love hearts to express solidarity for those impacted by COVID-19, and the company is encouraging others to join them.

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