Only a week ago, here in these online pages, we reported on the despair surrounding London's hospitality industry. We referenced The Hotel Bulletin: Q2 2016—published by HVS, AlixPartners and AM:PM—which found that hotel occupancy in London had its sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year decline.
“Whilst this is significant in the short term, London is, and will remain, a huge magnet for inbound tourism, so the longer term future of the capital’s hotel sector is still positive, even when taking account the new hotels in the pipeline and the potential impact of the Brexit implementation causing economic wobbles,” HVS chairman Russell Kett said.
Short is right. Seems London has made its initial comeback. According to July numbers from STR, hotels in London experienced a 4-percent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to £138.51 compared with the same period last year, driven by a 3.7-percent increase in average daily rate (ADR) to £156.67.
Moreover, July marked the first time this year that London experienced appreciable RevPAR gains. Occupancy, meanwhile, was positive, but only at a clip of 0.2 percent.
The month’s highest absolute occupancy (97 percent) and ADR (£187.44) levels were recorded on July 12, two days after the Wimbledon Championships ended.
RELATED: The fluid UK hotel market will be the focus at The Annual Hotel Conference, October 12-13, at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate. A keynote from Thomas Dubaere, COO HotelServices, AccorHotels UK and Ireland, will shine more light on the UK after the Brexit. To learn more and to register for the conference, click HERE.
While London is showing some resuscitation, it's Birmingham, around 125 miles northwest of London, that is showing strength. Bookings in the city reportedly are seeing record growth, "while pricey London struggles to overcome Brexit blues," Birmingham Mail wrote.
For example, it cites a two-night weekend stay at a central London Travelodge, a budget hotel mind you, costing about £240. Meanwhile, for about the same price "you could have a weekend break in Birmingham's four-star luxury Hotel La Tour."
Beyond the hotels, Birmingham is also the setting for one of the BBC's and Netflix's most popular shows: "Peaky Blinders."