By Carol Millett
Best Western Great Britain has renewed its call for the prime minister to book a family holiday in York to show his support for flood victims after figures revealed a £1.3m revenue slump for hotels in the area since the December floods.
Figures released by Best Western Great Britain using STR Global Data show that revenue across hotels in York was down by £300,000 for the month of February compared with the same time last year, with occupancy rates down by 5% for the same period.
Best Western Great Britain said that while February's figures showed a significant improvement on January's, in which York hotels reported a fall of £1m in revenues, these latest figures reveal the city is still suffering the effects of the flooding.
Best Western, which owns over 260 hotels in Great Britain, praised the Prince of Wales for his support of the area. As Patron of English Tourism Week, which runs from 13 March, the Prince is using the week to call for travellers to visit and stay in the area to help in its economic recovery.
However the hotel group noted it has yet to receive a response to its invitation to Prime Minister David Cameron, last month, to take a family holiday in York this year, as a way of supporting the government's PR campaign to encourage travellers to stay in the flood hit areas.
Best Western Great Britain CEO Rob Payne said: "There is a perception that the North is still underwater, but we are not. Now is the best time to support those businesses and the people who were affected by recent floods."
Asked why the prime minister had yet to respond to Best Western Great Britain's invitation to holiday in York this summer, the prime minister's Office told The Caterer: "For security reasons we don't announce the holiday plans of Mr Cameron and his family. We would only make an announcement nearer to the time."
The government has been criticised for not doing enough to support the flood-hit areas of York, Cumbria and Lancashire. The British Hospitality Association recently hit out at the government's pledge of £3m worth of funding to Cumbria and Lancashire, criticising it as too little. Cumbria County Council has also criticised the government for its "totally inadequate" provision of funding.