Occupancy rates in London have reached a plateau, and hoteliers are now focusing on driving up room rates, according to statistics from consultancy TRI Hospitality.
Its latest HotStats survey has reported a marginal decline in occupancy levels during November as attention turned to room rates.
Occupancy levels in November were 84.5%, compared with 84.7% in the same month last year. Hotels in London were now effectively full, said TRI.
Revenue per available room (revpar) moved ahead by 6.1%, with the average room rate rising by 6.3%, it added.
For the year as a whole, London hotels reported occupancy averaging 80.9%, up by four points on 2003, with the average room rate up by 7.1%.
For hoteliers outside the capital, revpar was also relatively healthy during November, up by 5% compared with the same month in 2003.
The increase was the result of a 3.8% rise in room rate and a 0.8 percentage point rise in occupancy, said TRI.
But the performance of provincial hotels was more subdued over the year as a whole, with occupancy up by 1.2 percentage points and the average rate up by 3%.
For the year to date, revpar is now up by 7.5% across the UK, with London up by 12.7% and the provinces up by 4.8%.
TRI consultant Jonathan Langstone said: "These figures are just the Christmas present hotel operators in London were looking for.
"And while Santa has not been as generous outside the capital, there should be no cause for complaint."
by Nic Paton
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