The London hotels market is bouncing back from the depths of recession, but a recovery in the provincial sector is still too early to call.
That's the picture provided by TRI Hospitality Consulting's latest review of the UK chain hotels market for March 2010.
Overall gross operating profit per available room (Goppar) in the UK jumped 8.3% for the month, although this masked a much higher climb of 17.6% in London, compared to a fall of 2.5% in the provinces.
Meanwhile overall occupancy performance was up 3% to 69.3% in the month. The average room rate climbed marginally by 0.8% to £87.88, while total revenues per available room (Trevpar) climbed 2.9% to £106.22.
The London market looked most sprightly, with a 3.6% rise in occupancy, 5.5% growth in the average room rate, and 10.4% growth in revpar compared to March 2009.
There were also positive signs in the provincial market, with TRI pointing to a slowdown in the rate of decline in provincial room rates, thanks to stabilising commercial rates.
But TRI managing director Jonathan Langston warned that it was still to early to say whether the provinces were starting to recover. "While the level of decline in average room rate performance is reducing it is still difficult to predict whether provincial hotel market performance is reaching its low point or if there are still tough trading conditions ahead," he said.
By Neil Gerrard
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