(Reuters) – Holiday Inn owner IHG on Friday signalled a sharp rebound in the hospitality sector as people gradually resume travel after countries eased pandemic-related restrictions, with the United States, its largest market, leading the recovery.

IHG’s RevPAR, or revenue per available room, was up 61% over last year, reaching 82% of pre-pandemic levels in the three months ended March 31, on improved demand in its Americas and Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia regions excluding China.

The owner of the Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe hotel chains said high demand lifted occupancy and room rates. Rates for leisure stays rose more than 10% on 2019 levels in the United States.

“As occupancy levels rise and due to the strength of our brands, our hotels are seeing increased pricing power,” Chief Executive Officer Keith Barr said in a statement.

The London-listed company said business in Greater China remained under pressure from restrictions put in place to control rising COVID-19 cases.

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sriraj Kalluvila)