Hoteliers across the UK experienced a difficult first six months of the year with declines in occupancy, room rate and rooms yield, according to preliminary monthly figures released today by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.

Preliminary figures for June show that occupancy levels in London began to increase again, but the regions continue to suffer.

Between January and June this year, London hoteliers experienced a 7.0% decline in rooms yield compared to the same period last year. This was a combination of a 0.8% fall on occupancy and a 6.6% drop in room rate from £126.67 last year to £118.72 this year.

In June itself however, occupancy increased 1.4% on the same month last year – jumping from 84.2% to 85.5%. In the regions, the picture was worse. Year to date figures at the end of June show a 15.8% decline in rooms yield from £47.80 to £41.27.

Occupancy was down 6.9% and room rate down 7.3%. In June, the story in the regions was the same with room rate down 8.0% from £66.26 to £71.98; occupancy down 4.2% while rooms yield was down 13.4% from £54.03 to £47.64. Edinburgh was the only city in the survey to record year to date growth in occupancy compared to the same period last year.

Occupancy grew 0.2% from 71.5% to 71.7%. Room rate dropped 5.9% and rooms yield 5.7%, but with occupancy increasing again in June – by 0.9% from 83.6% to 84.4% - the city’s hoteliers must be relatively happy. Cardiff and Manchester were the only other regional cities in the survey that managed to achieve an increase in occupancy in June. Cardiff was up 0.2% from 81.1% last year to 81.3% this year, while Manchester increased 0.5% from 76.8% to 77.3%.

Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel Consultancy Services at PKF, said: “Hoteliers across the UK have certainly had a difficult year so far, but there are some signs to suggest that the industry will have a slightly better second half.

“The figures for June show that more cities were able to achieve either an increase, or smaller decrease, in occupancy than experienced hitherto, which is a positive sign. Most hoteliers are struggling to maintain historical room rates, however, and this is ultimately depressing rooms yield for the time being.”

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