Hoteliers have seen the strongest January in five years thanks to a rise in consumer optimism, tourism spend and the improving state of the economy.
According to preliminary figures from business advisory and accountancy firm BDO, hoteliers beat the expected New Year slump to achieve the strongest figures across London and the regions since 2010.
In London, rooms yield was up 8% to £74.98 compared to £69.45 for the same period in 2014. This was largely due to a 5% increase in average room rate (up to £104.86 compared to £99.86) and strong demand that saw occupancy rise 2.8% to 71.5% (compared to 69.5%).
In the regions, the average room rate rose by 7.9% to £55.81 (compared to £51.72 in 2014), while occupancy increased by 4.5% to 59.7% (compared to 57.1% in 2014). Rooms yield was up 12.7% to £33.30, compared to £29.54 in the same period in 2014.
BDO's analysis suggested that lower petrol costs and an increase in wage growth alongside "supermarket price wars", have meant that consumers have more cash to spend, which has in turn boosted domestic tourism.
Robert Barnard, partner at BDO, said the low inflation rate (at 0.4% in January) was good news for hoteliers as it would mean consumers would spend more on travel and tourism.
He predicted that this would continue for the next few months, but also advised hoteliers to "take this opportunity to make hay while the sun shines… for the first part of 2015 at least. The prospect for the future remains robust; hoteliers should make the most of this welcome opportunity."
The results come amid strong results for tourism in the UK in the past few months, including record tourist spend and inbound visitor figures for 2014.