The first six months of 2017 produced the U.K. hotel industrys highest occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) for any first half on record, according to data from STR.
Compared with the first six months of 2016, the U.K. recorded a 1.7% increase in occupancy to an actual level of 75.1%, a 4.7% increase in ADR to GBP89.33 and a 6.5% increase in RevPAR to GBP67.12.
STR analysts note that the devaluation in the pound sterling following the June 2016 Brexit vote has resulted in strong tourism growth for the U.K., which has in turn benefitted the countrys hotel sector. According to recent figures published by VisitBritain, total visits to the U.K. were up 9% from January to May 2017. While arrivals from Europe were up just 5% during the first five months of the year, arrivals from North America increased 22%, and visits from the rest of the world were up 25%.
VisitBritains findings also show that visitor spending increased 14% for the January to May period, indicating that many travelers are taking advantage of the more favorable currency exchange rate. This aligns with the countrys hotel rate growth, which was particularly high in London, up 6.2% to GBP143.57 in H1. The U.K. capital continues to post performance growth, despite experiencing terror attacks in March and June.
Comparing London with Regional U.K. (U.K. excluding London), ADR grew 3.2% in H1 to an actual level of GBP69.46a record level for the first half of the year. Occupancy rose 1.2% in H1 to 73.6%also an H1 record. In addition to hosting several high impact events in H1, including the Manchester International Festival, the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh and the Champions League Final 2017 in Cardiff, the pound devaluation has also resulted in more domestic holiday travel within Regional U.K. as travel outside the country is now more expensive for U.K. residents.
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