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Occupancy down and room rates up at UK hotels

But conference business helps Brighton buck national trend, according to HotStats
30/05/2018

Pictured: Brighton Centre helped the city's hotels buck the national trend of profit decline in April

Hotels in the UK saw a 0.9 per cent year-on-year drop in room occupancy to 77.8 per cent in April, as room rates increased 0.8 per cent to £112.56.

Profit per room at hotels in the UK fell by 0.9 per cent to £47.98, representing a sixth consecutive month of year-on-year profit decline, according to the latest HotStats report.

Pablo Alonso, CEO of HotStats, said: “Demand levels have softened since the beginning of 2018, which may be attributed to the poor weather, the slowing in the UK economy and, this month, the timing of Easter.

“But it’s also clear that the increase in minimum wage and employer pension contributions have caused an increase in payroll levels. So, despite a rise in TrevPAR, payroll as a percentage of total revenue has grown and taken a bite out of profits.”

Brighton bucked the national trend of profit decline in April, with growth in volume this month led by demand generated in the city by the 2018 edition of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) conference, which attracted more than 3,000 attendees from more than 100 countries.

The conference fuelled an increase in volume from the commercial segment, which increased to 39.4 per cent of total demand for the month, which is well above the contribution from the residential conference and corporate sectors in the rolling 12 months to April 2018, at 34.9 per cent of room nights sold.

Brighton saw a 1.6 per cent drop in room rates to £107.03 in April, with a 4.1 per cent increase in occupancy to 81.8 per cent.

Alonso said: “Although Brighton is traditionally a popular destination for leisure visitors, which has been boosted over the last 24 months by a Brexit-related uplift in domestic tourism, demand levels are also supported by the strong conference and convention offering, with significant capacity available at the Brighton Centre, as well as a number of the local hotels.”

Hotels in Aberdeen recorded increased in both room occupancy (6.3 per cent) to 69.0 per cent, and average room rate (1.5 per cent) to £60.85, helped by a 36.8 per cent increase in conference revenue.


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