UK occupancy takes a dip along with the temperature
UK occupancy takes a dip along with the temperature
24 AUGUST 2020 7:38 AM

The heatwave of 2020 in the United Kingdom is over, and the sun is not the only thing to have dipped, with U.K. hotel industry occupancy declining slightly for the first time since hotels reopened on 4 July.

LONDON—The glorious sunshine and temperatures enjoyed by British staycationers of late did not continue into the week of 10 August to 16 August, which also was the first week in which week-on-week occupancy did not increase following the reopening of hotels in the United Kingdom from 4 July .

Speaking during his weekly video overview of UK hotel performance, STR director Thomas Emanuel said that dip also showed in average daily rate, down 0.5% from the previous week and 29% year over year. Where ADR goes, so does revenue per available room, which for the week in question showed year-over-year declines of between 57% and 64%.

(STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.)

He said all classes continue to show better performance during weekends, with lower-segment classes reporting the highest occupancies. Luxury hotels on weekdays are seeing occupancies in the low 30s, while midscale hotels see them in the low 50s.

Staycations remain the story, with rural locations doing very well.

“Cumbria, the Lake District, North Wales, Norfolk, Suffolk, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset are all benefiting from the current situation, with occupancy levels last week of between 80% and 87%,” Emanuel said.

London, however, is suffering, even if the numbers are drilled into in submarket terms, he added.

Emanuel said many of London’s submarkets still have significant numbers of hotels that remain closed.

Submarkets in relatively newly developed East London are doing better than those in Central London, which rely on large events, international visitors and the meetings, incentives, conventions and expositions market.

“The suburbs to the East of London (reported) occupancy of 52% last week, compared to just 10% in Marylebone and Mayfair. The lack of key demand drivers for Central London becomes ever more evident,” he said.

For more of Emanuel’s insights into U.K. performance data, and especially the new methodology of “economic occupancy,” watch the video below:

Editor’s note: The video included in this article was filmed Thomas Emanuel, director at STR, on 19 August and edited and produced by CoStar Group. HNN is a division of STR, a CoStar Group company.

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