Staycations boosted hotel occupancy overall across the United Kingdom, though capital city London still suffered in weekly performance.
LONDON—On the strength of the demand for staycations over a bank holiday weekend, United Kingdom hotel occupancy nationwide reached 70%, its highest absolute level since 4 March, “three weeks before lockdown commenced,” according to Thomas Emanuel, director, Europe, at STR.
In his weekly video insights into U.K. hotel performance, Emanuel noted the data reflects only hotels open and reporting to STR, parent company of Hotel News Now.
“Occupancy looks a lot healthier this last week (ending 29 August), compared to the prior few weeks where levels had remained static,” he said.
Against the comparable holiday weekend in 2019, U.K. hotel performance still lagged, with average daily rate down 19%, “still significant of course, but far better than the declines seen since lockdown,” he said.
London hotel performance also continues to suffer, Emanuel said, with occupancy for the week at only 37%, and reaching 40% over the holiday weekend. U.K. regional occupancy, which excludes London, recorded its highest occupancy for the week on Saturday at 75%, which was down from 94% for the comparable Saturday night in 2019.
“While these data points are encouraging in today’s world, it still does show the variance between this year and last,” he said.
He added that “lack of corporate, conference and international visitation is continuing to impact the capital,” noting the U.K. lags other countries with only about one-third of its workers having returned to the office.
“It is unlikely corporate demand will return before people go back to the office,” he said.
Emanuel also shared insights and takeaways from a recent consumer behavior study conducted by Tourism Consumer Insights, a division of STR.
For that, and more depth into the weekly U.K. hotel performance data, watch the video below: