UK hotels score at Rugby World Cup

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Wales wasn’t the only victor last weekend. Hotels also shared in the Rugby World Cup fever and enjoyed a surge in demand as fans flocked to host cities around the UK.

Online searches for hotel rooms in London between 24 and 28 September – when England played Wales at Twickenham stadium – surged by 48 per cent compared with the same weekend last year, according to figures seen by City A.M.

UK site searches for check-in last weekend in Leeds, where Scotland emerged as winners against the US at Elland Road stadium, were up by 73 per cent.

Read more: Is World Rugby making the most of the World Cup?

Other host cities have experienced an even greater boost in visitor numbers, with searches for Cardiff, Manchester and Leicester up 112 per cent, 80 per cent and 85 per cent respectively in the year to date, figures from Hotels.com’s Sports Travel Insights showed.

Meanwhile flat-sharing portal Airbnb said there were a record 32,000 stays in London over the last weekend, with prices for a room in Twickenham hitting £112.

Rooms booked in Cardiff and Manchester on Rugby World Cup nights compared to usual nights rocketed by 498 per cent and 469 per cent, Airbnb said.

Read more: Rugby World Cup's economic impact likely to be limited

It comes after accountants at PwC last week said the tournament would provide a fillip for UK hoteliers and help take total annual occupancy to a 10-year high.

"With a third of matches set to be played on a Sunday – traditionally a low occupancy night – the event is a great opportunity for hotels,” PwC said. It warned, however, that the event could put off the corporate market at a traditionally busy time.

Overall for 2015, PwC expects the average daily rate for London to grow by 1.8 per cent to £142 while the regions are expected to see growth of 4.6 to £67 – partly driven by the Rugby World Cup.

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