Slow recovery predicted for UK hotels


UK hotels will suffer a third year of falling revenue per available room (revpar) in 2003, but see a slight pick-up in 2004 and a firmer recovery the following year, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

‘The UK hotel sector is experiencing a difficult but improving trading environment. At the time of our last forecast in August 2003, there were indications that the UK might achieve marginal recovery in revpar in 2003’, said research manager Liz Hall.

‘However, despite recovery reported in a few demand sub-sectors, such as provincial conferences, the pace of recovery for UK hotels has been slow. UK economic growth has so far been sluggish. International and corporate travel has shown few consistent indicators of a revival in traveller volumes.’

Overall revpar is forecast to decline by 3.5% this year, an improvement on the 7.7% and 4.4% declines posted in the two preceding years.The brunt of the shortfall will be felt in London, where revpar will decrease by 6.8% to £77.06, compared with a decrease of just 1% to £44.10 in the provinces.

The report believes 2004 will bring a modest 2.7% recovery in overall revpar on the back of pick-up in the global and UK economy, growing international and corporate demand and further demand in the conference centre market.Revpar in London hotels will rise by just 0.9% to £79.19, but climb by 2.9% to £45.87 in the provinces.

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