March figures up for UK hoteliers

In spite of the continuing cold weather, UK hoteliers enjoyed an early spring boost with bolstered performance figures for both London and regional hotels in March, according to preliminary figures released today by PKF hotel consultancy services. Average daily rooms yield in London was up 14.4% on March 2005 to £85.58, driven by a 6.9% increase in daily room rate from £100.19 to £107.14 and a 7% increase in occupancy to 79.9%. London hotel occupancy rates are the highest since 2000. While the percentage of visitors from Europe, the USA and Japan fell, there was a 3% increase in the number of domestic hotel guests in the capital, to 36.9% of the total number of visitors, and a 43.4% increase in visitors from other countries to 20.8% of the total. There was also a spring in the step of regional hoteliers as daily rooms yield increased by 8% to £47.24. This was achieved by a combination of an inflation-busting 4.1% increase in room rate and a 3.7% uplift in occupancy to 69.9%. PKF partner for hotel consultancy services Robert Barnard said: “The March figures complete a very good first quarter for UK hoteliers. Domestic visitors are returning to the capital and one in five London hotel guests are now from countries beyond the traditional markets of Europe, the USA and Japan. March has been a difficult month for London over the last few years with the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003 and March Easters, but this year is the best since the golden year of the Millennium. “Hotel performance in the regions is also looking good, with overall rooms yield for the first quarter up a healthy 5.2% on 2005. The overall picture is one of improvement across the board, which the onset of the tourist season and summer programmes of outdoor events throughout the country will hopefully sustain over the next few months.”

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