London hotels finally appear to be recovering after three years of difficult trading, according to a new report from Barclays bank.
Preliminary data for the first three months of 2004 suggested that signs of a recovery, which were first seen towards the end of last year, have continued, with visitor numbers higher than in any first quarter for more than 20 years.
Although uncertainties persist within the London hotel sector, Barclays Industry Report said improving domestic and external conditions indicated recovery would be sustained into 2005. It added that UK GDP was on track to grow by 3-3.5% this year and would be underpinned by further growth in consumer spending and a reversal in corporate downsizing, which should provide a boost to both business and leisure demand for the capital's hotels.
However, the continued threat of terrorism was still a deterrent for US visitors. Terrorism had its biggest impact on London's top-end hotels, which rely heavily on US customers.