Belfast Telegraph

City's hotels show biggest rise in occupancy

By Clare Weir

Hotels in Belfast have shown the greatest increase in guest numbers than any other city in the UK.

Analysis of new STR Global hotel data by the business advisory firm Deloitte has ranked Belfast hotels as showing the greatest increase in occupancy, year-on-year, of those in all other regions across the UK - posting a growth of close to 10% to 65.7%.

The average room rate was also up slightly for March, by 0.8% to £55.31, which together drove up 'revenue available per room' into double digit growth of 10.6% to £36.34.

This performance growth was sustained for the first quarter of 2012 with Belfast hotels recording a 6.4% growth in 'revenue per room' to £31.27 on the back of a 7.5% increase in occupancy.

The news follows sustained advertising from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

The NI 2012 - Our Time, Our Place campaign has featured on television and cinema adverts, online videos and billboards in Great Britain, France and Germany, as part of an overall plan to increase the income earned from tourism to £1bn by 2020.

Deloitte Belfast partner David Crawford said the news is a great confidence boost for Belfast.

"Our thriving business sector, our international airport hubs and the quality of the Northern Ireland brand internationally is combining to drive Belfast up the league tables as a destination of choice," he said.