London hotel room rates top £100 mark

London hotel room rates topped the £100 mark in January, following a 4.5% increase in rates from 2005. The rise marks the strongest start to the year for hoteliers since 2000, according to accountants PKF’s monitor of UK room rates. Room occupancy rates also rose by 5.2% to 68.4% in January, traditionally a quiet month for hoteliers. Regional hotels also hiked room rates by 1.3% to £64.10, and saw occupancy increase 2.3% to 58.3%. Robert Barnard, partner for hotel consultancy services at PKF, said hotels had bucked the trend compared with other sectors where spend was down. "It would appear that the strength of business tourism that powered London’s recovery in the autumn is continuing to sustain hotel performance. Hopefully, Visit London’s up-beat forecast for growth in overseas visitor numbers during 2006 will be accurate and London hotels can look forward to a good year." The nationality mix of visitors remained similar to 2005 with domestic visitors accounting for 34.6% of the total, Europeans for 22.8%,and visitors from the USA for 18.1%.

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