Increased business and events travel helped provincial UK hotels enjoy their best April since 2008. According to the latest HotStats survey, positive movement in rates in the conference (up 5.5 per cent) and group (up 3.7 per cent) segments were responsible for this good news, despite locally-negotiated corporate rates remaining resistant to growth and registering a 2.2 per cent year-on-year drop that equated to an average room rate of £66.49.
Surveying approximately 560 full-service properties, the report stated that in April, hotels in UK provinces achieved their first year-on-year profit per room of 2012, a 1.4 per cent increase that saw rates rise from £21.33 to £21.63. April also was the first month in which the provincial hotel market achieved a year-on-year increase in profit since August 2011.
The increase in profitability was also due to a 4.8 per cent increase in RevPAR (revenue per available room), as provincial hotels increased both room occupancy (up 1.9 per cent) and average room rate (also up 1.9 per cent).
Jonathan Langston, managing director at TRI Hospitality Consulting, which commissioned the report, remained cautious, however: “Whilst encouraging, the growth in headline performance metrics this month was somewhat expected due to the disruption caused by the extraordinary string of bank holidays this time last year. It remains to be seen whether the long bank holiday in June for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will have a similar effect on the performance of hotels in the provinces.”