Peter Tyrie, managing director of Eton Group hotels, believes transatlantic business travellers are returning to the capital in greater numbers after Threadneedles, the City of London`s only five-star hotel, recorded an increase in American guests during July.
The Eton Group operates five-star luxury boutique hotels, three of which are in London. Threadneedles, a £21 million development opened in June 2002, is the group`s flagship and located in the heart of the financial district on Threadneedle Street.
Last month, Threadneedles attracted more American guests (36 per cent of its entire intake) than British ones (34 per cent). The hotel attracted 31 per cent of its guests from the States in both May and June. Threadneedles` occupancy rate during July fluctuated at around 65 per cent.
The figures also reveal how uncertainty caused by the onset of the Iraq War and the SARS outbreak, which peaked in April, affected American international business travel.
Percentage of American guests at Threadneedles in 2003 - Jan 29%, Feb 21%, Mar 31%, Apr 28%, May 31%, Jun 31%, Jul 36%.
The transatlantic business travel market, which is vital to the Eton Group, has been depressed for two years after a series of events, including the September 11th attacks, discouraged Americans from visiting Europe.
“I felt that the business travel market in general turned the corner in late May but July saw a significant increase in American corporate travellers at Threadneedles,” said Peter Tyrie, who founded the Eton Group in November 1998. “The hotel is a barometer for transatlantic business travel because of its location in the City.
“It`s a relief to say that more American business people are now in town. I`m hoping to see a steady increase during 2003 as long as confidence about the safety of international travel continues to strengthen.”
Threadneedles, located in Midland Bank`s former headquarters which were originally built in 1856, has 70 luxury guest rooms and suites. Rates begin at £265 per night for a deluxe double room.