Despite hotel occupancy rates holding steady throughout the rainy summer, September saw a marginal fall as the holiday period ended and business travel continued to be affected by market turmoil.
Room rate in London was down two per cent on last year, according to figures released by PKF Consultancy Services, and although occupancy levels were relatively high at 82 per cent, they were down six per cent on last year.
While regional hotels experienced a similar decline in trade as London, with occupancy dropping by three per cent and room rate by 0.3 per cent, it was Cardiff that experienced the biggest falls in the UK, seeing a 15 per cent drop in room rate, but PKF claim this could be a result of Cardiff hosting a number of Rugby World Cup games last year.
Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, said: “The decreases that hoteliers experienced this month are not surprising given the current turmoil in the markets which is undoubtedly affecting business travel. However, it should also be noted that hoteliers did have a particularly strong September in 2007 and this goes some way to explaining some of the decreases.
“Overall, it is important to note that despite the drops, occupancy levels, as well as room rate and rooms yield figures, are still fundamentally healthy due to two strong years of growth in 2006 and 2007 and hoteliers are therefore in a good position to weather the current climate.”
Figures released by PKF last month revealed that July was a more profitable month than August, when occupancy levels for the UK dipped by 1.3 per cent on last year.