UPDATE 1-Hotel group Accor expects travel demand to persist in 2022

(Adds details, quotes from deputy CEO)

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Europe’s biggest hotel group Accor said on Wednesday it expected travel demand to persist through the fourth quarter and into 2022 after reporting a jump in third-quarter revenue.

The group, which runs high-end chains Sofitel and Pullman as well as budget ones such as Ibis, said it finally saw a strong pick-up in demand after 18 months of pandemic-induced crisis, as people were keen to travel again after lockdowns.

Deputy CEO Jean-Jacques Morin said in a call that Accor not only saw a third-quarter revenue rebound thanks to the return of tourists, but also a recovery in business travel in September and October.

Those figures gave him confidence that travel demand would continue to improve.

The global travel and hospitality industry is recovering from the pandemic as higher vaccination rates and an easing of restrictions spur a rise in business and leisure trips.

“Our business was very strong this summer in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, particularly for our leisure destinations”, Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin said in a statement.

The group’s revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key gauge of performance for the hotel industry, however, dropped 37% compared to the third quarter of 2019.

Accor, which operates 5,200 hotels in 110 countries, reported revenue of 589 million euros ($684 million) for July to September, up from 329 million euros in the same period last year.

The group also cut its forecasted cash burn, now targeting less than 35 million euros per month compared to earlier guidance of 40 million euros.

$1 = 0.8611 euros Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian Editing by Mark Potter, Kirsten Donovan