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UK Tourism

UK hotels ‘experienced difficult operating environment’ in January, data reveals

Nelson Alcantara  Feb 12, 2009

London-based STR Global has released preliminary UK hotel data. The new data reveals that UK hotels throughout “experienced difficult operating environments” for the month of January.

STR Global has found that whereas the results are universally in negative territory, performance levels are not as bad as expected given the current economic conditions. In a statement released Thursday, STR Globa said: “The UK overall saw a decline in RevPAR between 10 percent and 12 percent split fairly even between rate and occupancy. Regional UK, i.e. everything apart from London, fell between 10 percent and 12 percent, with the capital itself falling between 11 percent and 12 percent.”

Commenting on the data, STR Global managing director James Chappell said: “Given the current doom and gloom in the wider economy, we could have expected far worse results than we are actually seeing. Forecasts and budgets are universally down, but what we are seeing is a movement between market segments rather than a wholesale stop in travel which is promising. Airport hotels are naturally the worst affected at what would otherwise have been a strong period, with carriers at Heathrow and Gatwick cutting flights and this is having a knock on effect to the secondary markets such as Reading and the whole M4 corridor.”

He added: “We are beginning to see the signs of rate coming down and the downward movement in many markets is the strongest indication yet that the so called special corporate rates that the hotels offer are coming under pressure as clients shop around. Hotels are also experiencing very late pick up for business, which makes any kind of forward planning extremely difficult.”

Accordong to the London-based firm, the rest of the UK, Liverpool and Manchester are down between 17 percent and 19 percent and 13 percent to 15 percent, respectively, whereas Edinburgh and Glasgow fell between 5 percent and 7 percent and 7 percent to 9 percent, respectively.

The STR Global Weekly Performance Monitor includes data for the whole of January 2009 looking at year-on-year performance in the industry’s key indicators of rate, occupancy and revenue per available room.

UK hotels ‘experienced difficult operating environment’ in January, data reveals
Photo by Nelson Alcantara

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