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Leisure fuels UK hotel growth in August

Occupancy in Edinburgh hits astonishing 94.5 per cent during Fringe Festival, according to HotStats

Pictured: Edinburgh Festival Fringe provides a significant boost to annual hotel performance

The continued year-on-year growth for hotels in the UK was fuelled by the individual and group leisure segments in August, according to the latest HotStats poll. 

As the summer holidays began in earnest, strong demand levels enabled hotels in the UK to achieve a 3.1 per cent increase in average room rate to £112.89. This was accompanied by a 0.6 percentage point decline in room occupancy to 82.1 per cent.

Demand from the leisure segment this month comprised 36.6 per cent of the total, compared to 30.3 per cent for the 12 months to August 2017, with year-on-year rate growth recorded in both the individual leisure (3.8 per cent) and group leisure (3.5 per cent) segments. 

Pablo Alonso, CEO of HotStats, said: “In addition to a revival in the appetite for staycations, which has been somewhat forced by the crash in the value of sterling after Brexit, hard work from Visit Britain means the Destination UK tourism proposition is stronger than ever, fuelling visitor demand from overseas.

“Furthermore, the ability of hoteliers to effectively manage demand has helped to offset the effect of the summer time decline in the stalwart commercial segment.

“These factors, amongst others, have helped to ensure that the days when August was a month best forgotten by hotel owners and operators in the UK are long gone.”

The Fringe Festival once again helped hotels in Edinburgh hit the heights, fuelled by a 1.4-percentage point increase in occupancy to a massive 94.5 per cent, while average room rate increased by almost £20 year on year to £195.04.
“It’s not hard to see why Edinburgh remains firmly at the top of the target list for hotel developers, brands and investors. The demand associated with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe alone provides a significant boost to annual hotel performance and is an event which is unmatched elsewhere,” added Alonso.

And despite a 0.1 percentage point decline, room occupancy levels at hotels in Brighton remained punchy in August, at 84.7 per cent. However, achieved average room rate fell away by 3.3 per cent to £110.18.

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