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UK hotels surpass 'giddily high' 85 per cent occupancy

Bristol and Heathrow named top performing regions by Hotstats for July, while conference revenues fall 14 per cent

Pictured: Bristol hotels welcomed a record July this year, thanks in part to the Harbour Festival

"Giddily high" occupancy levels helped UK hotels reach record profits in July 2017, despite the opening of 7,500 hotel rooms in the first six months.

An average occupancy of 85.3 per cent, a record for full-service hotels in the UK, helped year-on-year RevPAR increase 4.4 per cent to £105, Hotstats has revealed in its UK Chain Hotels Market Review.

Bristol was one of the top performing markets, thanks in part to the annual Harbour Festival as well as overflow from nearby cities such as Cardiff during major events. Heathrow hotels also welcomed a record July, with occupancy pushing to 92.9 per cent after the airport handled a record 7.53 passengers, its best ever single month in history. But the two cities registered declines across conference and banqueting and food and beverage, suggesting the increase was driven by the leisure market.

Pablo Alonso, CEO of HotStats said: "Despite recent reports that more than 7,500 hotel rooms have opened in the UK since the beginning of 2017, the highest number of additions since 2012, market performance is going from strength to strength led by room occupancy levels which are giddily high."

The strong occupancy levels were hampered by falls across the UK in conference and banqueting (4 per cent) and food and beverage (1.4 per cent).

Bristol hotels registered significant declines in non-rooms revenue, with food and beverage and conference declining 7.7 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.

Alonso added: "In addition to the South West city benefiting from a wealth of demand generators, its proximity to Cardiff and excellent transport links means that more and more hoteliers in Bristol are benefiting from displaced demand associated with major events in the Welsh capital. This month, demand was driven by Coldplay playing two dates at The Principality Stadium."

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