Cautious Optimism As UK Hotel Occupancy Improves For Third Consecutive Month

UK hotel occupancy rates have climbed for the third consecutive month showing an improving picture as restrictions lifted and the sector started to reopen following the third lockdown, according to RSM’s Hotel Tracker.

The data, compiled and produced by STR and analysed by RSM, shows the average occupancy rate has risen from 30 per cent in April 2021 to 65 per cent in July. The thriving staycation market saw the highest average occupancy rates in Wales at 80 per cent, followed by England and Scotland at 64 per cent; with London, being more reliant on international and business travel, sitting at 49 per cent – bringing the UK average down.

The average room rate followed a similar trajectory with July seeing a three-month UK high of £89; however, this is still behind the £110 average room rates in July 2019. Wales was the only region to exceed pre-pandemic rates at £78 in July when compared to £67 in 2019.

In addition, revenue per available room was £57 in July 2021, up from £19 in 2020; but still behind pre-pandemic levels at £89.

Chris Tate, head of hotels and accommodation at RSM, said: ‘It’s great to see hotel occupancy increasing as the UK economy opens up; and it’s encouraging that levels are already outstripping last summer’s reopening following the first lockdown.

‘Increased competition and staycation demand is slowly driving room rates up, but oversupply in London is hampering the wider UK recovery as low occupancy levels in the capital depress the national picture.

‘Brexit and Covid-19 have presented a perfect storm for the hospitality sector, creating an additional resource issue which is impacting operations across the UK, whilst fundamentally changing the market due to travel restrictions. Hoteliers will be hoping the opening of travel corridors to the US and changes to self-isolation rules for the double jabbed will drive a further increase in demand to support the post-pandemic recovery.’ /Ends.