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Manchester hotels reveal record occupancy levels

Events such as Conservative Party Conference helped achieve occupancy rate of 80 per cent in 2015

Pictured: Manchester hotels recorded 80 per cent occupancy rates in 2015

Greater Manchester hotels have achieved their highest level of occupancy since records began.

Both Manchester city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole achieved average annual occupancy rates of 80 per cent in 2015, according to data from STR Global Ltd, released by Marketing Manchester.

This represents a third year of growth for the city's hotel industry, up from 77 per cent in the city centre and 76 per cent at a Greater Manchester level in 2013, increasing to 79 per cent and 77 per cent respectively in 2014.

The increased occupancy rates come as almost 800 new hotel bedrooms were delivered in the region in 2015 and current pipeline figures suggest that there are almost 3,000 additional new rooms preparing to come to market in 2016 and 2017.

Nick Brooks-Sykes, director of tourism at Marketing Manchester, said: “These figures are a real testament to the strength of Greater Manchester’s hotel and tourism industries as occupancy rates continue to grow, even in the face of so many new hotels joining the market.

“We’ve been saying for some time that 2015 was a standout year for tourism - we had the re-opening of the Whitworth, the opening of HOME and some fantastic events like the Manchester International Festival, Manchester Pride’s 25th anniversary and a huge rugby weekend in October – so it’s great to see our expectations confirmed with some hard data.

“Of course, it’s not just cultural events and leisure tourism which drive occupancy rates. Business tourism – that is, meetings and conferences – drive a constant flow of business visitors to the city and we had some very significant conferences in 2015 including the Conservative Party Annual Conference.”

Within the city centre the average annual occupancy rate at the weekend was 86 per cent versus 77 per cent during the week, indicating potential for growth to meet demand during busy weekends. 

Brooks-Sykes added: “Going forward we need to further invest in tourism, working together with our partners to continue to position Greater Manchester as a destination that people want to visit for both business and pleasure. Of course, we are now competing on the international stage for our slice of the market so we also need to encourage innovation and activity which will align with and cater to our key international markets.”

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