London hotel boom continues

The London hotel boom continued
      throughout September; business visitors returned in force to major
      commercial centres such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool after
      the summer holidays; and the bands played on in Edinburgh after
      the Festival,  according to the preliminary figures released by PKF hotel consultancy services.

      London performance figures continued to break records with average
      daily rooms yield up more than a fifth (20.9%) on 2005 values to
      £108.94. This was fuelled by a 9.2% increase in room rate from
      £114.10 in 2005 to £124.64 and a 10.7% increase in occupancy to
      87.4% this September. This good performance for the ninth month
      running means that London hotels’ rooms yield is now 16.5% higher
      than it was a year ago.


      Regional performance across the 600 plus hotels in the survey
      revealed consistently steady growth in September with the average
      room rate up 3.4% to £73.22, occupancy up 1.9% to 80.8%, and daily
      rooms yield up 5.4% to £59.19 but, as usual, performance varied
      considerably across the country. With the summer holiday season
      largely over, visitors returned to the major business-hub cities
      such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool which recorded rooms yield
      increases of 12.3%, 13.0% and 5.2% respectively.



      As the Festival Fringe extended into the first weekend of
      September, Edinburgh hotels were still 89% full and a 7.2%
      increase in 2005 room rates to £92.50 helped to boost rooms yield
      by 9.8% to £82.35.


      In contrast, Cardiff room rates fell by 6.6% on 2005 to £65.48 so,
      although there was only a marginal drop in occupancy, rooms yield
      fell by 7.3% to £50.53. After a traditionally poor August,
      Birmingham hotels rallied slightly with the return of the business
      visitor but rooms yield was still more than 2% down on 2005


      Robert Barnard, partner for hotel consultancy services at PKF,
      said: “The continuing dramatic growth in the London hotel market
      is very heartening - although we should remember that London was
      still recovering from the impact of the bombings last September -
      and it’s clear that regional hotels are continuing to build on
      their solid performance to date this year.


      “Providing that the economy stays reasonably buoyant to the end of
      the year - and barring any further terrorist scares or attacks -
      we can be reasonably confident that 2006 overall will go down as
      one of the best years ever for the hotel sector as a whole and
      London hotels in particular.”