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Downward trend "deepening" says TRI Hospitality
UK chain hotels suffered a 28.8% drop in profits in January, according to the latest HotStats survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting.
TRI's deputy managing director David Bailey said a decline in revenue per available room (revPAR) had "accelerated" between September and January, from 3.9% to 12.9%.
"Unfortunately the latest figures highlight a deepening downward trend from the latter end of 2008 onwards," Mr Bailey said.
TRI said its quarterly Confidence Monitor, published last month, had revealed staff cuts by the majority of hoteliers in the last quarter of 2008.
But a payroll rise from 37.7% to 38.6% of total revenue was "minimal" in light of the falls in revenue, and explained by "timely cost-cutting measures," said TRI.
The average income before fixed charges (IBFC) for provincial hotels fell to £13.81 per available room compared to £19.40 in January 2007.
Total revenue and room revenue in the provinces dropped by 11% and 12.9% respectively, while average room rate fell 6.3% to £68.57.
Occupancy took a 4.1% hit, taking it down to an average of 54.6% for the first month of the year.
London's hotels fared better than the regions thanks to higher room rates, said TRI.
IBFC in the capital was down 23.4% to a daily figure of £36.02 per available room. Average occupancy for the month was down from 71.8% to 67.5% and room rate fell 7.7% to £102.84.
"An accelerating negative trend has now resumed in London after some respite during the Christmas holidays from Europeans taking advantage of the weak pound," said Mr Bailey.
The separate International Passenger Survey revealed a 12% decline in the number of overseas visitors to the UK in the last quarter of 2008, down to 7.01 million.
Visits from North America were down 27% to 670,000, and 10% fewer travellers came from Europe and the rest of the world.