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Signs of recovery for many UK hoteliers in May

Hoteliers across the UK experienced a mostly solid month of recovery in May with occupancy, room rate and rooms yield largely positive, according to PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.

In London, occupancy was up 3.3 percent on the same time last year from 81.3 percent to 84.0 percent.

Room rate also increased, rising 8.9 percent from £110.64 in 2009 to £120.45 this year.

Overall, this meant rooms yield was up 12.4 percent from £89.97 in 2009 to £101.15.

In the regions, occupancy was up 5.3 percent from 68.8 percent to 72.5 percent, room rate was up 0.5 percent from £62.04 to £62.35. Rooms yield also increased, by 5.8 percent, from £42.70 to £45.19.


According to PKF, there was a wide spectrum of results across the regions making up the collective results. For example, Birmingham saw a huge swing upwards with a 47.4 percent rise in room rate from £59.07 to £87.07 and an 8.7 percent increase in occupancy from 66.1 percent to 72.0 percent. The increases are substantial, but purely because their start points are extremely low as a result of recession last year.

In contrast, Cardiff fared badly. Room rate was down 4.4 percent to £62.17 and occupancy fell an equal 4.4 percent to 70.5 percent. Rooms yield was down 8.7 percent to £43.82. Meanwhile in the Northern cities, the picture was steady in May. In Manchester, room rate was up 0.7 percent to £75.02, occupancy was up 5.4 percent to 78.4 percent and rooms yield was up 6.1 percent to £58.79.

In Leeds, room rate was down 0.3 percent to £63.03, occupancy was up 4.4 percent and rooms yield was up 4.1 percent to £44.38.

Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, said, “May can often be a tricky month for hoteliers as it is bookmarked by two bank holiday weekends. Overall, the figures show that there seems to have been minimum disruption. This is particularly heartening following the disruption caused by the ash cloud in April. 

“Moving into the summer months, we will hopefully see this momentum maintained, especially if the expectation that many will holiday in the UK this year comes to fruition.”