Tuesday, January 27, 2009

December hotel performance hit by decline in holiday travel

With a higher number of UK families staying at home over the Christmas holidays this past year, hotel occupancy around the UK felt the pinch, according to a new study.

Occupancy rates, room rates and rooms yields all decreased in December, according to the preliminary figures for the month obtained from PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.

Room rates in London dropped by 0.9 per cent, down from £139.33 in December of 2007 to £138.03 in December of 2008. Occupancy declined by 1.2 per cent. Room yields fell by 2.1 per cent, from £102.07 in December of 2007 to £99.89 in December of 2008.

Figures for the year were somewhat more position, with London experiencing an increase of 2.7 per cent in room yields, from £114.08 for 2007 to £117.19 in 2008. This was largely a result of a 4.6 per cent increase in room rates, according to the consultancy group.

Hoteliers on a regional basis felt the impact of the economic downturn more severely, as room yields fell by 11.6 per cent for December, as compared with the same month in 2007. This was due to both the 9.4 per cent drop in occupancy rates and a decrease in room rates, from £73.20 in December of 2007 to £71.42 for the same month in 2008.

Liverpool, although it benefited from its European Capital of Culture status during the year, had disappointing December results, recording a room yield decline of 14.5 per cent.

For the region overall the figures were gloomy as well, with a decline of 2.2 per cent in room yields for the year. Room rates did see a small increase of 0.7 per cent, however, from £75.61 in 2007 up to £76.14 in 2008.