UK city hotels shake off economic blues with busy summer

Despite the downturn and the poor weather, hotels in UK’s big cities have enjoyed a buoyant summer with growth in both room rate and occupancy, according to PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.

Figures for London, Liverpool and Birmingham were all healthy although the regions and Edinburgh experienced a slackening in demand. PKF says the Farnborough Airshow is likely to have been the largest contributor to London’s growth, with occupancy rising 2.0% on the same period last year from 86.5% to 88.3%. Room rate increased even more sharply from £140.38 to £162.33 - a percentage increase of 15.6% - and overall rooms yield increased by a substantial 18.0%, from £121.45 to £143.26.

The figure were also helped by visitors travelling to the summer events hosted by the capital such as The Proms, the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and the summer opening of Buckingham Palace.

In the UK regions, occupancy was down slightly from 77.2% in 2007 to 75.9% this year, but room rate increased 2.4% from £75.18 to £77.00. Overall, this meant rooms yield was up 0.6% on 2007.

European Capital of Culture Liverpool continues to draw in the crowds and this month posted a 32.8% increase in rooms yield from £52.22 last year to £69.37 this year. This was a combination of a 12.6% jump in occupancy and an 18.0% increase in room rate.

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Birmingham also had a strong month as the city hosted the 24th Birmingham International Jazz festival in July. This gave its hotels a rooms yield increase of 8.9%.

Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, commented, “Hotels in the capital had a fantastic July, benefiting from the various summer events and defying current UK economic conditions. As predicted last month, the Farnborough Airshow also played an important role.”
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