Despite suffering the coldest August since 1994, the UK’s London and regional hotels performed better than last year, according to the preliminary monthly figures for August released today by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.
London hotels achieved an impressive 10.7% increase in rooms yield from £89.46 to £99.02 which was fuelled by a 9.3% increase in room rate to £117.75 and a modest increase of 1.3% in occupancy to 84.1%. The number of visitors from Europe, Japan and the rest of the world increased although there was a large drop in domestic visitors - perhaps as a result of a last minute rush for some Bank Holiday sun.
The Edinburgh Festival ensured that hotels in the Scottish capital had another good month with 91.5% occupancy and a 5.2% increase in room rate generating a rooms yield increase of 6.5% on the August 2006 figures to £111.12. Birmingham also had a good August with a 19.5% uplift in rooms yield from £24.98 in 2006 to £29.85.
In contrast, Cardiff hotels’ flat year continued with a small drop in occupancy to 75.9%, a 2.8% drop in room rate to £58.20 and an overall drop in rooms yield of 4.1% to £44.16. Rooms yield in Leeds also fell 3.4% to £42.84.
Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, commented, “London hotels bounced back in August albeit as a result of a hefty increase in room rate rather than a significant increase in the number of visitors. The strength of the pound against the US dollar continued to shorten the time that US visitors stay in the capital but did not deter visitors from Japan and the rest of the world.
“With the exception of Edinburgh, there was a drop off in the number of visitors to regional hotels but hoteliers did well to compensate by putting up their room rates by 3.9%. The occupancy figures are unsurprising given that August is always the busiest month for overseas holidays and the cold and wet early summer weather did not improve until the Bank Holiday weekend.”