London’s hotels knocked by a drop in occupancy rates in 2012

Julian Harris
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HOTELS in the capital suffered lower occupancy rates in the first six months of the year, PwC said yesterday, revealing that the sector was suffering even before the so-called ghost town effect attributed to the Olympic Games.

PwC’s data showed an occupancy slip of 1.2 per cent in the six months to June, culminating in a particularly bad month for the industry.

“[June] saw occupancy levels fall by 8.4 per cent to 82 per cent, against an average of 90 per cent in June 2011,” the report said.

Last week some hotel groups reported that business was particularly slow for the time of year, amid fears that the Games have deterred regular tourists from coming to London.

Yet the data held some good news for hotels’ coffers, revealing that average daily rates for visitors were up by 1.8 per cent in the six months to June, compared to the same period in 2011.

Nonetheless, the sector must hope that the Games prove better than currently appears to be the case. “Will we see a post Games dip or will the media spotlight stimulate new visitors to the capital?” questioned PwC’s head of hospitality research, Liz Hall.