Demand shifting from corporate to leisure – TRI

UK chain hotels suffered a 17.6% decline in first quarter profits year-on-year as business demand declined further, a report by TRI Hospitality Consulting has revealed.

In a HotStats survey released yesterday (April 23), TRI said the balance had shifted from corporate to leisure travel during a traditionally slow trading period.

Provincial UK chains were the worst hit with a 19.9% plummet in daily profits to £21.22, while London’s profit fell by 15.7% to £45.62 for 2009 as the recession took its toll.

The figures represent a profit drop to £36.49 per available room across the UK, expressed as income before fixed charges (IBFC).

Average UK revenue per available room (revPAR) declined by 10.6% to £77.58, which TRI blamed on a 5.5% drop in average room rate and a 65.5% slump in occupancy.

TRI’s managing director Jonathan Langston said 2009 was “shaping up to be a particular challenging year for UK hoteliers.”

TRI noted a UK shift from corporate room rentals in favour for leisure bookings as the country moves further into the recession.

“One central London hotelier commented that her hotel was now busier at weekends than during the week, a reversal of normal trading,” TRI said.

TRI quoted figures from BAA, the UK airport operator, highlighting a 10.1% decline in air traffic in the first quarter as general demand for travel slows.

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