(Adds details, background) Oct 22 (Reuters) - Europe's biggest hotel group Accor reported a slump in third-quarter revenue on Thursday, saying the downturn in leisure customers and the introduction of new COVID-19 restrictions slowed its recovery toward the end of the period. Accor, which runs high-end chains such as Raffles and Sofitel as well as budget brands such as Ibis, reported revenue of 329 million euros ($388.91 million) in the July to September period, down 63.7% compared to a year earlier on a like-for-like basis. Accor said it saw activity improve during the summer holiday season, especially in Europe, though new curbs pushed the recovery back down in September and the group expects only China to swiftly recover to pre-crisis levels. The French group, which operates more than 5,000 hotels in 111 countries, said 90% of its hotels were now open, compared with 81% in August. "The worst of the crisis is now behind us, but our main markets are still substantially affected by the measures rolled out to combat the health crisis," Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin said in a statement. A global surge in new COVID-19 infections has forced countries to introduce new travel curbs, another hit for hotels that have been running at a reduced capacity since lockdowns were introduced in Europe in March. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday the government would extend a curfew already imposed in Paris and eight other big cities to 38 more departments, starting from Friday at midnight. (Reporting by Milla Nissi and Charles Regnier in Gdansk Editing by Susan Fenton)
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