Room rate and occupancy levels finally showed an upward trend across both the UK`s regional and London hotels during October. For an industry that has been under so much pressure, whilst this may not be quite the equivalent of a winning kick in the last minute of a rugby World Cup final, it will certainly bring a feel good factor to hoteliers.
London hoteliers saw occupancy rise an impressive 5.1% to 82.3%, while average room rate only edged up 0.2% to £99.98, which is still well below rates achieved in the late 90s, pushing rooms yield up 5.3% to £82.29. The capital showed evidence of a small upturn in European and US business, whilst domestic business remained strong.
Outside London, the picture was reversed, with occupancy only marginally up and average room rate showing more sturdy growth. Occupancy among regional hotels was 75.1%, which was ahead 0.3% on the same month last year, while average room rate was up 1.6% to £63.71. Rooms yield rose 1.9% to £47.83.
Melvin Gold, managing director for hotel consultancy services at PKF, said: ” The stronger room rate trend, especially in regional UK hotels, is contrary to the trend so far this year and is perhaps a sign of hoteliers` confidence showing through in their room rate policies.
“The news is timely, coming hot on the heels of England`s World Cup victory, which many economic commentators feel may herald a national feel good factor in common with previous similar events. Obviously any such factor may help hoteliers who already appear on a roll towards improvement and this could, at least in the regional UK hotels, see cumulative indictors turn positive by the end. However, recent bombing especially in Istanbul and the interest rate rise in the UK and the weak dollar are a reminder that there are still economic and political uncertainties in the landscape and we have to hope such external factors do not derail the hotel industry`s recovery.”
PKF is the eighth largest firm of accountants and business advisors in the UK with more than 1,600 partners and staff operating in over 25 offices around the country. Principal services include assurance and advisory; consultancy; corporate finance; corporate recovery and insolvency; forensic; and taxation. The firm has particular expertise in sectors such as charities; technology and e-commerce; hotel consultancy services; medical; professional partnerships; and public sector.
PKF also offers financial services through its FSA authorised company, PKF Financial Planning Limited. PKF is a member of PKF International, which has more than 8,000 people operating in over 100 countries around the world.
PKF has been providing hotel consultancy services since the early 1970s and, in that time, has undertaken thousands of assignments throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa and further afield. Services include: market evaluation and financial feasibility studies; operational and profit improvement reviews; asset management; business valuations; international property services; corporate strategy and planning; litigation support. PKF`s web site features regular articles from the firm`s hotel consultancy services experts on industry topics - the address is www.pkf.co.uk/hotelcons.
PKF`s hotel trends surveys feature a broad range of hotels across the country although mainly in the 3 - 4 star categories and featuring rather more chain operated hotels than those operated independently. While there is a fair number of hotels in country and rural areas, there is a predominance of hotels in towns and cities. In London, supply featured is mainly in the 3 -5 star categories.