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Rates fall as business demand falls
Hotels in the UK performed well in April as the weak pound attracted travellers, the latest HotStats survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting has revealed.
TRI said that while occupancy in the UK fell 4.8%, London's hotels fared "better than many of their European counterparts."
Jonathan Langston, TRI's managing director, said cuts in room rate and increased leisure demand had made up for an Easter short-fall in business travel.
"Easter is historically a quieter time for branded chain hotels because there are fewer business guests," he said.
"This year, however, as hoteliers reacted to the downturn in corporate demand, discounted leisure deals kept overall occupancy levels high."
TRI said a drop in "corporate room-nights" had added to decline in average room rate (ARR) in April. ARR in London fell 10.2% to £106.17 from £118.21.
Visits from the US fell sharply, with numbers down 21%. Visits from Europe were down just 7%.
Average room occupancy in London declined to 80.4% in April from 82.7% year-on-year.
The UK average occupancy was 72.1% last month while occupancy in the regions fell 6.3% year-on-year to 67.3%.
TRI said the UK's capital had benefited from the Easter period and the resulting strong leisure demand.
London room occupancy performed well when compared to previous year's Easter months, matching March 2008 and beating the 77.6% reported in April 2007.
Hotels in London are escaping the worst affects of the recession when compared to the provinces, TRI said.
Revenue per available room (revPAR) fell 10.8% in London but 13.1% in the rest of the UK.