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UK hotels will cope with consumer slowdown

27 February 2008 by

UK hotels must hold their nerve during the economic uncertainty as there are still opportunities to grow revenue, according to a report released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The consultancy predicted that the sector will see slower growth this year, but added that most hotels should be well placed to cope with the consumer slowdown.

UK revenue per available room (revpar) is forecast to grow by 4.1% in 2008 and 3.6% in 2009, while in London, revpar could grow 6% in 2008 and 4.4% in 2009. Occupancy levels in the capital are set to remain high at around 81% and average room rates are set to increase from £127.02 in 2008 to £133.68 in 2009.

Robert Milburn, partner and UK leader of hospitality and leisure at PwC, said there are still opportunities to grow revenues for hotels.

"This is a time for hotels to hold their nerve. While the industry will feel the pinch from the latest economic situation, it is coming from a good position with some excellent products in the market," he said. "In fact UK hotels overall should still see reasonable growth through to the end of 2009."

Milburn did warn that any worsening of the economy would damage the hotel sector but suggested that the credit crunch could turn out to be a good thing for the industry. "Large developments that have not been committed to yet could be postponed and result in less supply coming on to the market in 2009," he said.

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By Gemma Sharkey

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