UK hotels end year on a high note

UK hoteliers ended the year on a strong note, according to figures released by PKF hotel consultancy services. Preliminary figures for December reveal that the year on year average room rate in London was up 1.9% to £102.40 and, although occupancy was marginally down by 0.4% to 68.9%, rooms yield was up 1.5% to £70.52. More significantly, given the plummet in occupancy rates in July and August following the London bombings, room rate for 2005 as a whole was up 3.4% to £104.57 and rooms yield was up 1.8% in spite of a drop of 1.5% in occupancy. Regional hotels enjoyed a strong end to the year with room rate up 2.6% to £65.13, occupancy up 0.9% to 61.5% and rooms yield up 3.5% to £40.07. This strong December performance reflected 2005 as a whole. Room rate was up 3.1% on 2004 at £66.98, occupancy up 0.4% to 71.4% and rooms yield up 3.6% to £47.85. PKF hotel consultancy services partner Robert Barnard said: “If there were ever any doubts about the innate strength and resilience of the UK hotels market, these end of year figures will dispel them. In spite of a dreadful two months for London hoteliers after 7/7, the city’s boundless appeal for business and tourism alike reasserted itself by October, and the December figures clearly demonstrate that London is back on top of the tree. “While the regional hotels market had a good year overall, the increasing dependence of each location on local events to drive occupancy was sharply highlighted. The soaring fortunes of cities with packed activity programmes such as Liverpool and Aberdeen contrasted strongly with locations such as Nottingham and Solihull & Birmingham Airport, where rooms yield fell in 2005.”

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