Hoteliers across the UK say business is looking up, with the majority of general managers expecting an increase in sales of both corporate and leisure hotel stays in the second quarter of this year.
According to the latest HotStats Hotel Confidence Monitor, which pooled responses from just under 300 UK chain hotel general managers last month, 63 per cent said they are optimistic about their hotel’s trading performance.
Looking towards the next three months, respondents to the online survey said they were expecting an improvement in both occupancy and room rates compared to the same period last year.
Just over half (52 per cent) of general managers predicted growth in occupancy during the second quarter 2011, while a further 17 per cent said they expected no change compared to last year. In comparison, only 21 per cent said they expected a dip in occupancy during the period.
“Hoteliers continue to be confident, with strong occupancy and room rate performance expectations,” said Mark Dickens, managing director of HotStats.
“However, this is not being reflected in hotel profitability, as controlling costs remains a major challenge.”
This quarter’s gross operating profit expectations have remained broadly the same across the UK, with only 37 per cent of general managers saying they expected an increase in Q2 2011 compared with Q2 2010.
Corporate, leisure, conference
Around a third of general managers expect an increase in corporate demand for hotel rooms, as well as the average sector room rate, although the majority of respondents predicted that volume and value of corporate demand would remain in line with last year’s performance.
Leisure-related demand is expected to grow in both volume and value, despite the falls in disposable income faced by many households.
However, confidence is not so high for conference-related hotel demand. Only 14 per cent of respondents expect an increase in the number of conference delegates, with 16 per cent projecting a growth in conference room rates.