UK hoteliers survived a difficult year in 2009 only to face an uncertain future, according to the latest report from consultancy PKF.
PKF's Hotel Britain 2010 recorded a resilient London hotel market performance in 2009 despite a maiden decline in revpar for the year.
Overall for 2009, London occupancy was up 1.1 per cent on 2008 to 81.1 per cent The fall in revpar, by 4.7 per cent to £108.74, was as a result of the 5.7 per cent drop in average room rate to £134.09, although PKF pointed out that this figure was still high.
However hotels outside the capital were hit hard with revpar down 12.2 per cent from £55.16 in 2008 to £48.42 in 2009. This was a result of an 8.4 per cent drop in average room rate to £70.80 and a 4.2 per cent fall in occupancy from 71.3 per cent in 2008 to 68.4 per cent in 2009.
Predictions come true
Robert Barnard, hotel consultancy services partner at PKF said: “The UK hotel industry was braced for another difficult year at the beginning of 2009 as the global economic downturn continued to affect both business and leisure travellers.
“This largely played out to be true, particularly when it came to room rate where hoteliers had no choice but to reduce their rates in order to attract visitors. However, despite the mostly negative results for 2009, over the last five years UK hotels have achieved a positive compound annual growth rate in revpar of 2.2 per cent, demonstrating the strength of the industry in recent times.”
Barnard said economic and political uncertainty would make for a tough 2010, although London as a top business and leisure destination would likely perform well against this backdrop and the prospect of a repeat of the “staycation” phenomenon of last year should provide hope for operators in the regions.