UK hotels enjoy strong January trading

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Strong demand in the capital meant occupancy rose 2.8 per cent to 71.5 per cent
Strong demand in the capital meant occupancy rose 2.8 per cent to 71.5 per cent

Related tags Average room rate Inflation

UK hotels have beaten the New Year slump and seen the strongest January in five years, with both room occupancy and yield increasing year on year in London and across the regions.

According to preliminary figures released today (19 February) by business advisory firm BDO LLP, regional hotels saw a 7.9 per cent rise in average room rate to £55.81, while occupancy increased 4.5 per cent to 59.7 per cent in January 2015.

Room yield was also up 12.7 per cent on the same period in 2014 to £33.30.

In the capital strong demand meant occupancy was up 2.8 per cent to 71.5 per cent, average room rate was up 5 per cent to £104.86 and room yield was up 8 per cent on 2013 to £74.98.

BDO credited lower petrol costs, supermarket price wars and an increase in wage growth with consumers having more money to spend on tourism, particularly domestic.

Robert Barnard, partner at BDO, said: ““The low inflation rate spells good news for hoteliers as consumers can spend more on non-essentials like travel and tourism. It has resulted in the strongest January since 2010.

“While it’s likely that low inflation and interest rates will continue to be the trend, certainly for the first part of 2015 at least, hoteliers should take this opportunity to make hay while the sun shines.”

Robust future

2014 was a record year for UK tourism​, with figures from the Office for National Statistics’ latest International Passenger Survey showing a 6 per cent rise in inbound visits year on year to 34.8m.

2014 also saw the launch of VisitEngland’s Countryside is GREAT campaign, which aims to promote regional tourism outside of London and hopes to attract greater US spend in 2015.

Commenting on the outlook for 2015 Barnard said: “The prospect for the future remains robust. Despite the ongoing woes of the Eurozone, ForwardKeys recently claimed that visits from China and Hong Kong are showing strong growth for the months ahead.

“In addition, with inflation falling to 0.4% in January and the UK economy forecast to grow at its fastest rate since 2006, hoteliers should make the most of this welcome opportunity.”   

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