Ferguson farewell highlights positive impact of sport on hotels

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Manchester united f.c.

Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, the Champions League Final and Wimbledon 2013 have impacted hotel prices, bookings and occupancy rates
Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, the Champions League Final and Wimbledon 2013 have impacted hotel prices, bookings and occupancy rates
The London 2012 Olympics may not have brought the rewards many hoteliers had expected, but almost a year on a number of sporting events and occasions - including Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement - are having a big effect on hotel prices, bookings and occupancy rates.

An unexpected year-on-year increase in Manchester hotel bookings came over the weekend after last week’s announcement that the Manchester United manager would step down at the end of the football season.

The average booking value for hotel stays on Sunday – when Sir Alex made his final appearance at Old Trafford – was up 11 per cent, while bookings on the Saturday were up 39 per cent.

“Our booking trends suggest that fans are seizing the last chance to see Sir Alex as Manchester United manager,” said Mark Maddock, managing director of lastminute.com UK and Ireland. “Hotel booking values for the weekend of the 12 ​May also suggest loyal supporters are keen to honour Sir Alex’s managerial swan song with a memorable night’s stay.”

Champions League Final

Meanwhile, hotel prices in London have risen by 63 per cent for Saturday 25 May, as Wembley Stadium welcomes 90,000 visitors for the UEFA Champions League Final.

A stay in London will cost an average of £281 for the night of the final - a £108 increase from the monthly average of £173 per night. Hotel prices have also increased for the day preceding the Champions League Final, with one night on Friday 24 May averaging £224.

The day after the event, hotel prices decrease by 48 per cent to an average of £145, despite this being a Bank Holiday.

Wimbledon Championships

Tennis fans are also preparing to flock to the capital for the Wimbledon Championships this summer (24 June-7 July 2013), with hotels already almost half full on the most popular nights.

Forward-looking data from market intelligence provider TravelClick found that the night with the highest occupancy is that of Saturday 29 June, which currently stands at 46.6 per cent. This is an increase of 14.7 per cent on the same date last year.

Closely following that is the night of the Women's Singles Final and the night before the Men's Singles Final - Saturday 6 July - when committed occupancy currently stands at 44.6 per cent.

Overall, hotel occupancy in London for the duration of the Wimbledon Championships is at 34.6 per cent, up an average of 4.4 per cent on the same point in the booking window for 2012.

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