UK hotels report no evidence of post-Olympics hangover in September

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

UK hotels have revealed their occupancy and RevPAR figures for September with no evidence that any post-Olympics hangover has impacted performance
UK hotels have revealed their occupancy and RevPAR figures for September with no evidence that any post-Olympics hangover has impacted performance
Despite fears of a post-Games slump, latest performance figures indicate UK hotels are adjusting to life after the Olympics and did not experience any significant downturn in revenue per available room (RevPAR) last month.

In its latest UK chain hotels market review, HotStats indicates venues in London actually experienced a slight growth in RevPAR in September compared with the same month last year.

Exceed expectations

Driven by a big jump in occupancy to 89.5 per cent, RevPAR grew by 0.6 per cent last month. The average room rate dropped slightly to just under the £138 mark.

In a separate survey, hospitality consultancy firm PKF also suggests the capital's hotels experienced an occupancy boost last month - rising to 88.6 per cent.

The data appears to dispel any rumours of an immediate post-Games lull for hoteliers, a number of whom recently warned about the prospects of the impact on trading of an 'Empty 2013' next year.

“As always, London continues to exceed expectations," Jonathan Langston, managing director at TRI Hospitality Consulting, which compiles the HotStats figures, said.

"Whilst there were rumours of a potential post-Olympics slump as experienced in previous host cities, which appeared even more plausible if you take the challenging economic environment into account, London hoteliers have responded with the strongest September occupancy performance recorded since HotStats began capturing data."

Interestingly HotStats shows the increase in London occupancy was driven by a 22 per cent growth in leisure-related demand while corporate business actually fell on a year ago basis.

Provincial routine

The news is less good for hotels in the regions where, according to HotStats, RevPAR remained flat as a result of a drop in the average room rate to £72.11. This despite a 2.5 per cent increase in occupancy.

Data from PKF appears to back up the findings - they say RevPAR slid by 1.3 per cent.

Provincial hoteliers appear to be suffering from rising energy and food costs and soaring inflation eroding profits. Both HotStats and PKF suggest September indicates a return to a 'business as usual situation' for the regions.

Govinda Singh, director for hotel and hospitality consultancy services at PKF, said "Hotels remain reliant on the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) market, and that doesn't appear to be showing any signs of improving in the short term."

One city outside London that did have a positive month was Manchester. According to the latest European hotel results from STR Global, the North West city achieved RevPAR growth of just over 15 per cent last month.

"Regional operators are likely to experience a challenging autumn, but they've got the expertise and experience to manage the pressures that they're facing," Singh added.

UK Hotels - September Performance

HotStats

London

  • Occupancy - 89.5 per cent, up 3.1 per cent
  • Average room rate - £137.87, down 3 per cent
  • RevPAR - £123.33, up 0.6 per cent

Provinces

  • Occupancy - 79.5 per cent, up 2.5 per cent
  • Average room rate - £72.11, down 3.2 per cent
  • RevPAR - £57.31, unchanged

PKF

London

  • Occupancy - 88.6 per cent, up 0.8 per cent
  • Average room rate - £140.46, down 1.5 per cent
  • RevPAR - £124.38, down 0.7 per cent

Provinces

  • Occupancy - 78.3 per cent, down 1.8 per cent
  • Average room rate - £64.29, up 0.6 per cent
  • RevPAR - £50.32, down 1.3 per cent

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