London and Paris hotel activity on the rise

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The Independent Travel

Travel to two of Europe's leading cities is picking up, according to data released this week by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed March 2 that London has seen five consecutive months of occupancy growth, with London hotels in the final quarter of 2009 82.5 percent full - a record high for the period.

PwC believes that the trend is set to continue into 2010, although this growth will mean higher prices for consumers. Prices will raise by around 3.5 percent in 2010, said the firm, to give an average rate of nearly £120 (€132). However, weakness in the pound means that London will still appear a good deal, says PwC's Head of Hotels Research Liz Hall:

"Assuming the exchange rate remains favorable hotels will seem relatively good value for overseas visitors. More high spending, US tourists will continue the good news."

This surge has also been reflected in Paris, according to figures released March 1 by Deloitte. Hotels of all classifications posted increased occupancy rates, boosted particularly by 2-star rated hotels that were 7.2 percent more full. Rates for four-star hotels in the French capital fell by 5.4 to €246 but rose 2 percent for 3-star hotels to €109 and 0.2 percent for 2-star hotels to €73.

Whilst travel to capital cities appears to be recovering, hotels outside London and Paris appear to still be struggling. PwC believes that British provinces are "temporarily beached" and are not set to recover until the second quarter of this year.

In France, Deloitte also said that most regions outside of Paris, particularly in the upscale sector, were suffering but that a recovery "could take place during the second semester."