Liverpool hotel sales up, margins down

The total number of hotel rooms booked in Liverpool in 2009 will exceed the 2008 level, according to tourism board The Mersey Partnership, but hotels are making less money on each room.

Sales margins have dipped during the recession, with REVPAR – revenue per available room – £44 in 2009 compared to £55.50 in 2008, when the city enjoyed a successful tenure as European Capital of Culture.

The overall occupancy rate has also dipped to 66% this year down from 76% in 2008. However, total bookings will surpass the level of last year: the paradox in the market is caused by the fact the market has grown year on year due to new hotels opening.

During 2008, the city centre market witnessed a surge of six hotels opening, containing 645 rooms:

  • Premier Travel Inn, 56 rooms
  • Hard Days Night, 110
  • Eleanor Rigby, 18
  • Jurys Inn, 310
  • Staybridge Suites, 132
  • Cocoon, 32

The number of city centre hotels doubled in a decade from 16 in 1998 to 32 by the end of last year.

By the end of this year another five hotels will have opened for the first time, with 500 beds added:

  • The Renshaw Hotel, January, 16
  • Hope Street extension, September, 32
  • Hilton, October, 216
  • Novotel, November, 209
  • Roscoe House, no date given, 18

Pam Wilsher, acting director of tourism at TMP, said the weekend tourist market was holding up well but the midweek business market was down as companies cut back on executive travel.

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