Despite current economic concerns, hoteliers across the UK reported steady levels of growth in May, according to preliminary monthly figures released by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.
In London, room rate increased by 3.6% from £136.49 last year to £141.40 this year while occupancy figures saw a rise of 1.0%, from 80.2% to 81%. Overall this meant rooms yield in the capital increased by a healthy 4.7%. The year to date figures show a healthy picture with room rate up 5.1% on the same period last year. Occupancy figures are on a par with 2007 and this means overall, rooms yield has increased 5.1%.
In the regions, rooms yield saw an increase of 1.0% - from £54.85 last year to £55.39 this year. This was driven by the increase in room rate of 1.4% because occupancy fell 0.4%. The year to date figures show a similar pattern with room rate up 2.5% on the same period last year, while occupancy has dropped 0.1%. Rooms yield is up 2.4% on 2007.
Liverpool continues to draw in the visitors as European Capital of Culture for 2008. It recorded the highest occupancy figures across the survey with an increase of 7.7% from 75.2% last year to 81.1% this year. With a hike of 2.2% on room rate, rooms yield increased by a robust 10.0%.
Cardiff also recorded strong figures in May most likely as a result of the city’s Millennium Stadium being host to the Heineken Cup Final. Room rate was up 12.2% and average occupancy up 3.1% from 76.5% to 78.9%. Overall rooms yield increased by 15.7%.
Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, commented, “As the figures for March and April were affected by the different Easter holiday dates between 2007 and 2008, the figures for May are the first true indicator for the market thus far in 2008.
“Looking at the preliminary figures we can see that the industry is so far faring well despite the economic concerns that the country is facing.
“It’s true that increases in room rate are a driving force, but occupancy figures are holding their own and on a par with 2007 which, it should be remembered, was a strong year.”