Hotel revenue increases in Manchester, declines in Liverpool

Michael Hunt

Hotels in Manchester saw revenue per available room increase, while revPAR declined in Liverpool during the first quarter of 2010, according to Deloitte.

The accountancy firm reported that during the period from 1 January to 31 March hotels in Manchester saw revPAR rise 0.6% to £45 when compared with the same period last year.

In addition, occupancy levels also showed signs of improvement, with a 4.7% rise to 68%, while average room rates decreased by 3.9% to £66.

Paul Lupton, North West head of corporate finance advisory at Deloitte, said: "The start of 2010 has seen hoteliers in Manchester continue to make small steps towards recovery following an incredibly challenging year. Looking back to the beginning of 2009, revPAR was down 13.5% on 2008 figures. This dipped a further 5% in Q2 2009 to -18.5%, but since then the city has shown steady growth.

"Business travellers are definitely returning, which has helped to improve occupancy levels. In this regard, Manchester is outperforming other major regional cities such as Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds. In fact, the only city with higher occupancy is London."

In Liverpool, Deloitte reported that hotels in the city took steps towards recovery in the first quarter of 2010, with the decline in revPAR narrowing by 0.3% to £41, compared with a drop of 16.9% during the same period of last year.

Occupancy levels also remained static at 64.2% during the first quarter of 2010, while average room rates were down just 0.3% to £64.

Sean Beech, senior partner at Deloitte's Liverpool office, said: "The start of 2010 has seen hoteliers in Liverpool make quite a significant improvement in revPAR considering the turbulent year they've just had. Looking back to the beginning of 2009, revPAR was down 16.9%, so the first quarter's performance is a real achievement and shows that the city's hospitality industry is starting on the long road to recovery.

"Business travellers visiting for conferences and events have helped to stabilise occupancy levels. In this regard, Liverpool is outperforming other regional cities such as Leeds and Bristol. In the longer term, strengthened links with the international business community, forged from participation at the Shanghai Expo and similar initiatives, should pay dividends, although the short term prospects remain tough."

The picture in Manchester is reflected in the overall UK figures, which also posted an increase in revPAR of 3.5% in the first quarter 2010. However, many cities, including Liverpool, continued to struggle with a snowbound January and Easter falling a week earlier than usual, as the drop in business travel reduced revPAR in the final week of the first quarter. London hoteliers confirmed a double-digit growth in Q1 of this year, up 10.1% to £94, with occupancy levels at 76.1%.

Lupton added: "Hoteliers across the region will be happy to hear that occupancy is now back in positive territory, signalling the beginning of the road to recovery. However, I fear that there is still a long way to go before average room rates post growth, and this may not happen until the second half of the year."

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