The success of the Paralympic Games was responsible for London hotels posting the strongest September occupancy on record, according to TRI Hospitality Consulting’s (TRI) latest HotStats UK Chain Hotels Market Review.
TRI’s managing director Jonathan Langston said: “Whilst there were rumours of a potential post-Olympic slump as experienced in previous host cities, which appeared even more plausible if you take the challenging economic environment into account, London hoteliers have responded with the strongest September occupancy performance recorded since HotStats began capturing data for the London full-service hotel market.”
The boost was predominantly from leisure travel, which increased by 22 per cent above figures for the same month in 2011. An increase of 19 per cent in London hotel non-rooms revenue also helped boost business. Langston explained: “Increases did occur in food, beverage and room hire, so it would be reasonable to assume that some of this was driven by corporate events, particularly in light of the room hire increase.”
However, Langston believed corporate travel to the capital in September remained soft and it was the public support for the Paralympics that boosted London hotel occupancy levels by 3.1 per cent to 89.4 per cent, despite a year-on-year decline of 3.2 per cent in average room rate from £141.82 to £137.26.
In the provinces, hoteliers continue to struggle, despite occupancy levels rising from 77 per cent to 79.5 per cent, thanks to a 16 per cent increase in leisure demand. Overall, provincial hotels recorded a 1.6 per cent decline in gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) and a 3.1 per cent drop in achieved average room rate to £72.16.
Langston added: “Unfortunately, there appears to be no respite for provincial hoteliers, and we anticipate that profit levels will continue to erode as food prices are set to soar due to adverse weather conditions and energy suppliers are set to increase their gas and electricity prices well above the rate of inflation before the end of this year. Coupled with a sustained economic recession that continues to have a negative impact on key hotel demand generators, the prospects for the provincial hotel market are not bright.”
Pictured: Jonathan Langston