April's unsettled weather put something of a dampener on hotel performance during the month especially in the provinces, according to preliminary figures from hotel consultant PKF.
"April's weather was quite changeable with several unsettled spells of rain, sleet, hail and snow, which will have encouraged anyone contemplating an Easter holiday in the UK to book the first available flight to sunnier climes," said Robert Barnard, partner for hotel consultancy services at PKF.
Regional hotels increased revenue per available room (revpar) by just 0.5% to £48.45 in April, compared with the 8.2% boost recorded in March.
This stagnant performance stemmed from a fall in occupancy of 0.1 percentage points to 71.4%, which barely offset a 0.6% improvement in average room rate to £67.82.
Revpar in London hotels grew by 2.8% to £80.59, significantly down on the 14.4% rise achieved in March.
Although occupancy rose by 5.6 percentage points to 79.2%, average room rate declined by 4.5% to £101.75.
Barnard viewed the drop in room rate as "a temporary measure" to attract Easter leisure visitors in the face of the seasonal downturn in business visitors to the capital, combined with fewer leisure trips.
The number of overseas tourists to London from North America and Japan dropped by 3.7% and 28.1% respectively, although those from Western Europe grew by 3.6%.
Domestic tourism to the capital was 5.5% below April 2005.
By Angela Frewin