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Belfast hotels cheer improved room occupancy data

Published 26/10/2015

Hotel room occupancy rates in Belfast are on the up, research shows
Hotel room occupancy rates in Belfast are on the up, research shows

Belfast hotel occupancy has outstripped the rest of the UK.

Average levels rose from 75% to 79% this year and there is more to come, according to analysts PwC.

While average daily room rates and revenues per available room are well below those of London, Manchester and Edinburgh, Belfast hotels are steadily improving their performance.

Martin O'Hanlon, PwC Northern Ireland partner, said: "Growth isn't being experienced evenly by all market segments across the UK.

"The recent variable performance in London in the first half of 2015 has been in contrast with improved performance in the regions where cities like Belfast, Birmingham and Nottingham are performing particularly well."

The first six months of 2015 saw average occupancy levels in Belfast's hotels increase from 75% to 79%, ahead of the overall UK half-year performance of 76% and the UK regional (outside London) occupancy of 75%.

In the first half of the year, Belfast enjoyed the second highest occupancy increase after Birmingham - with Belfast levels increasing well above larger cities including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Belfast hotels also performed well when measured by Revenues Per Available Room, which showed a 15.8% increase in the first six months of this year over the same period in 2014 - which was also 15% up on the first half of 2013.

The increase in revenue across Belfast hotels in the first half of this year was more than three times the UK average, posting the greatest increase amongst the 22 UK cities and two airport hotel groups at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Mr O'Hanlon added: "Growth is still in the air and there is more to come, but the pace of growth is slowing a bit in some regions.

"Belfast may not be achieving the annual daily rate (ADR) of some GB city hotels, but growth is steady, the gap is closing and we see no reason why that should not continue."

PwC examined the performance of over 8,500 hotels in 22 cities across the UK as well as hotels at Heathrow and Gatwick airports; this included 32 Belfast hotels accounting for almost 3,500 rooms.

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