UK hoteliers experienced a mixed Easter this year, with London enjoying high occupancy levels while regional cities suffered a gloomier experience, according to consultants.
Average room occupancy in London was up by 0.9% on last April from 81.7% to 82.5%. But room rate fell by 10.6% from £138.47 to £123.85, which dragged revenue per available room (revpar) down by 9.7%, from £113.17 to £102.11, according to PKF.
April figures for the provinces showed a double-digit decline in room rate, occupancy and yield: room rate fell by 11.2% from £78.17 in April 2008 to £69.43; occupancy was down 10 percentage points to 63.9%; and revpar fell 23.2%, from £57.82 to £44.40.
These figures were also mirrored in TRI Hospitality Consulting's Easter report. A high occupancy of 80.4% in the capital was undermined by heavy discounting in average room rate, which dropped by 10.2% in London (from £118.21 to £106.17) and by 11.2% in the provinces, from £75.45 to £67.01.
Revpar was also down by 10.8% in London and by 13.1% in the provinces.
Robert Barnard, partner for hotel consultancy services at PKF, said the figures reflected London's resilience to "virtually every kind of economic, political, biological and climatic turbulence".
He added: "Hoteliers are clearly sacrificing margin in order to fill their beds. The longer the recession continues, the more it will eat into these margins and the harder it will be for hotels to survive."
By Gemma Sharkey
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