Hotels across the country defied the economic gloom and unfavourable weather to post an exceptionally strong set of results in April, according to preliminary figures released by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.
London recorded a 9.7% year-on-year increase in rooms yield, from £94.86 to £104.06, with a 5.6% rise in room rate from £117.53 to £124.11 being reinforced by a 3.2 percentage-point improvement in occupancy, from 80.7% to 83.9%.
Hotels in the regions, which had suffered during a difficult winter season, also posted strong results. Rooms yield, which rose by 3.7% to £39.27 in April 2012, compared with £37.86 a year ago, was the result of a 3.5% increase in room rate from £54.04 to £55.93 and a 0.2 percentage-point improvement in occupancy from 70.0% to 70.2%.
Robert Barnard, partner for PKF Hotel Consultancy Services, said: "This is a stellar set of results, particularly at a time when most of the economy remains in the doldrums. We might have seen even stronger performance if not for it being one of the coldest and wettest Aprils on record.
"It is encouraging to see London coming close to posting double-digit rooms yield growth as it begins to gear up for the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics.
"Elsewhere, it looks like regional hoteliers have successfully emerged from a very challenging winter season. Pressures are likely to remain as many such operators rely on the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions market, which continues to flatline. But they are unquestionably making the best of a very tricky situation."
By Janet Harmer
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