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(Adds details on RevPAR, CEO comment)
May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. hotel operator Hyatt Hotels Corp reported a bigger loss for the first quarter on Tuesday as people stayed at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the company said business demand gained momentum in the period, albeit at a more modest pace than leisure demand.
After the pandemic pushed the hospitality industry to one of its worst downturns in 2020, hotel operators are expected to bounce back this year on the back of rising inoculation rates and pent-up demand.
"The expansion of vaccine distribution and the easing of travel restrictions in certain markets fueled improved confidence in travel in many of the markets in which we operate," Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian said.
Hyatt said its first-quarter comparable system-wide revenue per available room (RevPAR) - a key measure of a hotel's performance - fell about 48.9%.
Total revenue fell 55.9% to $438 million, missing analysts' estimates of $468.9 million.
Net loss attributable to Hyatt was $304 million, or $2.99 per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with a loss of $103 million, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Hyatt lost $3.57 per share.
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)