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Conference numbers fall by a fifth after York floods

Latest data from Hotstats reveals falling conference numbers in York and East, while Birmingham flourishes

Pictured: York suffered extensive flooding this winter

Flooding at the end of 2015 is thought to have affected conference numbers in York during February, with the city's hotels recording a 19 per cent drop in conference and banqueting revenues.

Despite the falling numbers, the city did manage to increase rates by 4 per cent to £84.

Conference numbers in the east of England also fell during the month, by an average of 17 per cent, while Birmingham conferences grew 12 per cent, according to the latest UK Chain Hotels Market Review from Hotstats.

"York was one of the cities worst hit in the floods of December 2015. However, occupancy levels in the city have been on the decline for the last year, falling by 6.1 percentage points, to 76.6 per cent in the 12 months to February 2016, from 82.7 per cent in the 12 months to February 2015, with the decline accelerating since the December floods," the report authors noted.

Occupancy in hotels at hotels in the east remained stable at 67 per cent while average room rate (ARR) increased by 2 per cent to £74.

A consistent occupancy rate of around 75 per cent helped Birmingham hotels increase ARR by six points to £82. The city also recorded a growth in food and beverage revenue of 2.3 per cent.

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