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London occupancy shows delayed reaction to bombings

07 September 2005 by

London hotel occupancy rates were down this August, prompting concerns that the effects of the July bombings have been delayed.

A report covering 150 hotels by The Daily Bench, which supplies hotel operating data, found overall occupancy rates for three- to five-star hotels had dropped by 9.7 percentage points to 76.1%, compared with the same month in 2004.

Five-star hotel occupancy decreased by 4.0 percentage points to 69.2%, but four-star occupancy fell by a dramatic 12.4 percentage points to 81.6%.

James Chappell, managing director at The Bench, said the four-star hotel occupancy decrease could have occurred because August was a leisure month, with a less active corporate market.

"Ninety-eight per cent of people on leisure trips are not staying in five-star accommodation," he said, "so perhaps the leisure market, families mainly, has gone elsewhere."

Chappell added that several factors could have influenced the drop and advised against excess worry.

"It's obviously a big drop but a knock-on effect of the London bombings was always going to happen," he said.

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