Hotel sector poised for higher room rates

The hotel sector is set to increase room rates and occupancy in 2014, amid increased optimism about the coming year.

A new report from PwC, the UK Hotels Forecast 2014 released on September 10th, suggests that hoteliers are expecting to see a rise in room prices as consumer confidence is on the rise and owners will no longer be facing comparisons with the London 2012 Olympic games.

So far this year, statistics have suggested that room occupancy has dropped compared to 2012. However, as hotel owners were trying to keep up with figures from when the London Olympics were being hosted, this is to be expected.

Head of hospitality and leisure research at PwC Liz Hall said: "A return to some kind of ‘normal’ in 2014 will be welcomed after 2013’s post-Olympic correction. London has struggled this year but stronger pricing in 2014 and record RevPAR are expected."

PwC say that hotel occupancy will rise to 82 per cent in 2014, which is up from 81 per cent this year.

In 2014, 53 per cent of hoteliers are planning to increase their room rates. This means that the average daily room rate is expected to rise 1.5 per cent to £138.19, while in London the revenue available per hotel room will go up by 2.4 per cent to £112.80.

The report noted that the current predictions for 2014 are looking much better than they have done for a few years. It stated: "Things may change of course, but right now in the first week of September things feel rosier for the UK economy than at any point over the past three years."

It pointed out that London had struggled towards the end of 2012 and at the start of 2013 but that in June, occupancy and room rates began to see growth. While it may not catch up to the high rates seen during the Olympics, they are expected to be on the rise through 2014.

Berkeley Scott is a leading London hotel recruitment agency