London hotels enjoyed the highest occupancy levels across Europe during the first nine months of the year, according to the latest Hotelbenchmark from Deloitte.
Occupancy was 77% while revenue per available room (revpar) in the capital rose by 19.2% over the period.
Deloitte found the UK, along with most of Eastern Europe, to be spearheading the recovery in hotel revpar across Europe.
Eastern European hotels benefited from a boom in corporate demand following their countries' accession to the EU in May, along with a boom in low-cost airlines jetting in leisure travellers.
As a result, Bratislava, Budapest, and Prague boosted revpar by 15.3%, 19.9%, and 24.1% respectively. But revpar tumbled by 19.5% in Warsaw in the face of increased room numbers and price discounting.
Overall, European hotel revpar rose by 6.6% in the year to 30 September but the recovery was patchy. Long-term Euro-zone members only boosted revpar by 3.6%, although they had suffered smaller declines in 2003.
Major sporting events helped position Greece and Portugal near the top of the table.
Athens boosted revpar and average room rates by 489% and 42.9% during the Olympic Games in August, increasing year-to-date revpar by 57.2%.
The terrorist attacks on Madrid this March dragged revpar down by 12.4% and 8.5% in Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Conversely, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Istanbul all boosted revpar by more than 15% as they recovered from the political uncertainties of 2003. Occupancy levels, however, remained low compared with many Euro-zone cities.
by Angela Frewin
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