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Liverpool beats Falling UK RevPAR Trend

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Results from STR Global show a sharp drop in revenue per available room (RevPAR) for London and regional UK from October 2008 through the beginning of November. The exception was Liverpool, which benefited from its European Capital of Culture 2008 status.

The UK hotel market has been following the global trend of declining occupancies and growing rates for the first nine months of this year. Year-to-September still showed 3% RevPAR growth across the UK driven by 4% growth in room rates compared with the same time prior year.

September was the first month in which London reported RevPAR declines resulting from a fall in average rates. Whilst the regions maintained their rate levels, the declining occupancies for the most part of this year have driven down RevPAR. The regional RevPAR has been falling since March, with only April and July showing growth because the dates that Easter fell (March in 2008, April in 2007) and the Farnborough air show in July.

The preliminary results for October and the first week of November continue this trend. London reported RevPAR of #121, down 6.5%. The regions came in with #59, down 7.8% for October compared to same month last year.

Of all UK cities, Liverpool is a shining exception. Liverpool reported the 16% RevPAR growth to #56 for year-to-September. Both occupancy (79%) and average room rates (#71) benefited. Liverpool increased RevPAR by 3% in October and 26% for the first nine days in November-due in part to hosting the MTV European Music Awards on 6 November.

"The sharp downturn for the capital and regional UK has surprised us," said James Chappell, Managing Director of STR Global. "The recent predictions on the wider economic downturn will make 2009 a tough year for UK hoteliers."

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