Feelgood factor returning to London hotels


London hoteliers saw occupancy and room rates both rising during October, in a clear sign that a feelgood factor is finally returning to the capital’s hotel trade. According to the latest statistics from hotel consultancy firm PKF, London hoteliers reported a 5.1% increase in occupancy rates to 82.3%, with the average room rate edging up by 0.2% to £99.98.

While this is still well below rates achieved in the late 1990s, revenue per available room (revpar) has been pushed up by 5.3% to £82.29, said PKF.The capital showed evidence of a small upturn in European and US business, while domestic business remained strong, the report added.

Outside London, the picture was reversed, with occupancy rates only marginally up and average room rates showing more sturdy growth. Average occupancy among regional hotels was 75.1%, ahead by 0.3% on the same month lastyear, while average room rates were up by 1.6% to £63.71. Revpar rose by 1.9% to £47.83.

Melvin Gold, managing director for hotel consultancy services at PKF, said: ‘The stronger room rate trend, especially in regional UK hotels, is contrary to the trend so far this year and is perhaps a sign of hoteliers’ confidence showing through in their room rate policies.’

‘However, recent bombing, especially in Istanbul, and the interest rate rise in the UK and the weak dollar are a reminder that there are still economic and political uncertainties in the landscape and we have to hope such external factors do not derail the hotel industry’s recovery.

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