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But positive signs for the future - PKF
UK hotels have been hit by the economic downturn but a new report by consultants PKF says there are "positive" signs for the future.
In its Hotel Britain 2009 report, PKF said that in the country, room yields fell from £74.33 in 2007 to £74 last year, occupancy fell by 2.5% to 73.9% but average available room rate was up by 2.3% to £100.33.
In London, average available room rate rose by 3.8% to £140.56 which pushed up yields by 2% to £112.74 but occupancy dipped by 1.7% to 80.2%.
The regions fared worse with room yields down 2.4% to £53.55 and occupancy down by 2.9% to 79.5%.
There was a slight rise in average available room rate of 5% to £75.99.
But Robert Barnard, a partner with PKF's Hotel Consultancy Services, said that while UK hotels faced a challenging year in 2009, "exceptional growth in the market over the last five years does give the industry a strong starting point."
He added that international events, new concepts and further investments may also soften the impact of the downturn.
Mr Barnard said: "There is no doubt that there are challenges ahead, but while this 2009 edition of Hotel Britain is the gloomiest yet, there are important positives to remember.
"The UK is hosting a number of international sporting events in 2009 such as The Ashes and the ICC World Twenty20 and these may boost UK visitor numbers.
"Equally, Sterling has dropped to record lows against the Euro and the US Dollar and this should encourage visitors from both Europe and North America who, in the last few years, have avoided the UK due to the strength of Sterling."
He also pointed out that while the luxury end of the market was suffering, budget hotels, like Premier Inn and Travelodge were "aggressive development plans for 2009."
PKF's report reviewed the performance of 548 hotels representing over 88,000 rooms across the UK.