Hotels across the UK continued to perform solidly in the September sunshine, according to the preliminary monthly figures for September released today by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.
In London, while occupancy did drop slightly from 87.2% last year to 86.7% this year, there was still a strong 6.8% increase in rooms yield from £112.20 to £119.87. This was driven largely by the increase in room rate where there was a 7.5% hike. Domestic visitors to the capital decreased again on the previous year - perhaps indicating that the effects of the interest rate rises over the last year are beginning to bite and people are thinking twice about spending money on a weekend away.
In the regions, Cardiff hotels were boosted by the Rugby World Cup matches held at the Millennium Stadium during September. Rooms yield increased a massive 27.3% from £48.33 to £61.51. This was a result of a 20.6% rise in the room rate and a 5.5% rise in room occupancy.
Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester all experienced a disappointing September. All three cities saw a decline in their rooms yield on the previous year - Leeds was down 2.6%; Liverpool 5.5%; and Manchester had the largest fall at 8.3%. These drops were a result of a decrease in both occupancy and room rate. Overall, regional hotels did see growth in September, jumping 2.4% in rooms yield.
Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, commented, “London hotels had a strong September although again the growth in rooms yield was largely down to the room rate. The slight downturn in occupancy could have been due to some business travellers changing their plans in the aftermath of the summer’s financial turmoil.
“The regions also had a small drop in occupancy and this is likely to be due to a mixture of hikes in the interest rate over the last year and the dreary UK summer that has encouraged more people abroad for some last minute sunshine.”