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London hotels suffer ash cloud fallout

By Chris Druce , 24-May-2010

London hotels, such as Sofitel Heathrow, have seen the ash cloud reduce bookings

London hotels, such as Sofitel Heathrow, have seen the ash cloud reduce bookings

London hotels suffered a sharp decline in occupancy last month, after the Icelandic ash cloud closed down UK airspace restricting travel

New figures from PKF Hotel Consultancy Services suggest the overall effect of the ash cloud for London hoteliers was negative, with bookings down overall after an initial bounce due to stranded travellers extending their stay.

 

Occupancy in the capital fell 7.6 per cent year-on-year to 76.3 per cent in April, although an increase in room rate, down to the loss of lower volume business such as tour groups driving average price up, meant revPAR was down just 0.3 per cent at £93.20.

 

In the regions occupancy increased 1.7 per cent to 68.1 per cent, although room rate fell 3.6 per cent to £58.11. This meant revPAR was 2 per cent lower than last year at £39.54.

 

Robert Barnard, partner for hotel consultancy services at PKF, said: “Hopefully the negative impact will be short lived, however as the volcano continues to erupt, there is still a great deal of uncertainty for hoteliers and travellers.”

 

Experts have predicted that the uncertainty will lead to a leap in UK holiday bookings as consumers look to avoid flying this summer.

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