Room rate and occupancy levels finally showed an upward trend across both the UK’s regional and London hotels during October. For an industry that has been under so much pressure, whilst this may not be quite the equivalent of a winning kick in the last minute of a rugby World Cup final, it will certainly bring a feel good factor to hoteliers.
London hoteliers saw occupancy rise an impressive 5.1% to 82.3%, while average room rate only edged up 0.2% to £99.98, which is still well below rates achieved in the late 90s, pushing rooms yield up 5.3% to £82.29. The capital showed evidence of a small upturn in European and US business, whilst domestic business remained strong.
Outside London, the picture was reversed, with occupancy only marginally up and average room rate showing more sturdy growth. Occupancy among regional hotels was 75.1%, which was ahead 0.3% on the same month last year, while average room rate was up 1.6% to £63.71. Rooms yield rose 1.9% to £47.83.
Melvin Gold, managing director for hotel consultancy services at PKF, said: ” The stronger room rate trend, especially in regional UK hotels, is contrary to the trend so far this year and is perhaps a sign of hoteliers’ confidence showing through in their room rate policies.
“The news is timely, coming hot on the heels of England’s World Cup victory, which many economic commentators feel may herald a national feel good factor in common with previous similar events. Obviously any such factor may help hoteliers who already appear on a roll towards improvement and this could, at least in the regional UK hotels, see cumulative indictors turn positive by the end. However, recent bombing especially in Istanbul and the interest rate rise in the UK and the weak dollar are a reminder that there are still economic and political uncertainties in the landscape and we have to hope such external factors do not derail the hotel industry’s recovery.”