Preliminary UK hotel data released by STR Global
confirm that hotels throughout the kingdom experienced difficult
operating environments for the month of January.
Whereas the results are universally in negative
territory, performance levels are not as bad as expected given the
current economic conditions.
The UK overall saw a decline in RevPAR between
10% and 12% split between rate and occupancy. Regional UK, i.e.
everything apart from London, fell between 10% and 12%, with the
capital itself falling between 11% and 12%.
Commenting on the data, James Chappell, Managing Director of STR
Global said, “Given the current doom and gloom in the wider
economy, we could have expected far worse results than we are
actually seeing. Forecasts and budgets are universally down, but
what we are seeing is a movement between market segments rather
than a wholesale stop in travel which is promising. Airport hotels
are naturally the worst affected at what would otherwise have been
a strong period, with carriers at Heathrow and Gatwick cutting
flights and this is having a knock on effect to the secondary
markets such as Reading and the whole M4 corridor.”
“We are beginning to see the signs of rate
coming down and the downward movement in many markets is the
strongest indication yet that the so called special corporate
rates that the hotels offer are coming under pressure as clients
shop around. Hotels are also experiencing very late pick up for
business, which makes any kind of forward planning extremely
difficult,” added Chappell.
In the rest of the UK, Liverpool and
Manchester are down between 17% and 19% and 13% to 15%, respectively, whereas Edinburgh and Glasgow
fell between 5% and 7% and 7% to 9%, respectively.
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