Manchester has trumped London in hotels occupancy levels for January, as the capital struggles to return to pre-pandemic levels.
According to data by STR, a division of CoStar Group, occupancy rates in London were down six per cent in January to 65.1 per cent compared to 71.1 per cent by 6.0 per cent during the same period in 2020.
Manchester saw hotel occupancy in January 2023 top 68.5 per cent – 1.3 per cent more than January 2020 with occupancy at 67.2 per cent.
Furthermore, Manchester hotels saw revenue per available room (RevPAR), a metric which helps measure the overall success of a hotel, jump 18 per cent to £43.47 to £51.10.
In London, RevPar also increased slightly to 4.3 per cent from £93.95 to £97.99.
“While data from STR shows that London hotel occupancy remained slightly below pre-pandemic levels in January, the market has recovered greatly from what we saw just one year ago,” said Cristina Balekjian, director of hospitality analytics at CoStar Group, STR’s parent company.
“In the first month of 2022, the market recorded an occupancy that was nearly half the level of January 2023,” he continued.
Moreover, the capital’s average daily room rates (ADR) rose by 14 per cent from £132.40 in January 2020 over the three years to January 2023 to £150.60.
In the same period, Manchester hotels saw ADR rose from £64.24 to £74.11, an increase of 15.4 per cent.
“Higher prices are likely to be deterring cash-strapped domestic tourists from spending longer in the capital,” Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, told City A.M.
She said: “It’s little surprise that demand has sprung back much more sharply for hotels in Manchester.
“Even though prices in the city have risen by 16 per cent, they are still much cheaper than at hotels in London so events held in Manchester are likely to have been better attended given that accommodation is much cheaper than in the capital.”
She continued: “It’s likely some of this slack in London will be taken up by the return of high spending Chinese tourists, now that restrictions have eased. The elimination of post-Brexit red tape may also help lure more tourists into London.”