Occupancy rates in UK at best levels for decade

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The Independent Online
The buoyancy of the UK hotel market is underlined today in a report showing occupancy rates are at their highest for a decade, writes Patrick Tooher.

Average room occupancy levels last year rose to 69.6 per cent, up 7.1 per cent on 1994 and a fifth higher than the levels recorded during the depths of the recession four years ago.

London put in an even stronger performance with 81.9 per cent of rooms occupied on average, a 7.9 per cent improvement on 1994.

British hotel profits rose by 9 per cent last year as average room rates jumped from pounds 47.43 to pounds 50.17.

A typical London hotel room now costs pounds 88.57 a night against pounds 81.52 in 1994.

Jonathan Langston, joint managing director of the report's authors, leisure consultancy BDO Hospitality, says: "Increasing confidence levels have now been confirmed by these significant improvements in performance. Granada's decision to raise Forte's hotel room prices was overdue and will pave the way for other hoteliers to consider their published tariffs and introduce price increases."

The report warns: "The industry must guard against the greed of the late 1980s and continue to deliver value through ongoing investment."