London hotels got off to a good start to the year, outperforming operators in the rest of the country, according to preliminary hotel figures for January from PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.
Rooms yield in London grew by 3.6% to £82.21, thanks largely to a 2.7% increase in occupancy from 70% in January 2011 to 71.9% in January 2012. Room rate rose by 0.9%, from £113.31 to £114.30, year-on-year.
By contrast, in the regions, a 2.6% rise in occupancy from 55.1% to 56.5% was more than offset by a 7.4% drop in room rate from £57.40 to £53.18. The result was a 5% fall in rooms yield to £30.06, compared with £31.64 12 months ago.
Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, said: "These figures are likely to set the tone for the year as a whole: a strong performance in London, whilst hotels across most of the rest of the country post a more muted set of results.
"The capital's hotels have made an exceptional start to Olympic year on the back of a largely positive 2011. The current economic climate does not appear to be deterring visitors, which will give hotel managers good reason for optimism for the next few months.
"Elsewhere, performance has been disappointing if not entirely surprising. Hotels have been forced to slash rates dramatically to attract price conscious corporate and leisure customers. This approach is helping to increase occupancy but at the expense of yield."
By Janet Harmer
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