Events drive record occupancies in Manchester and Brum

Greater Manchester hotels had their strongest year for hotel occupancy in 2014 despite increased bedroom stock. The figures come from new data from specialist research company STR Global Ltd.
 
Manchester city centre posted an average annual occupancy rate of 79 per cent, moving up from 77 per cent in 2013. The figure is slightly above the 77 per cent average annual occupancy (up from 76% in 2013) for the wider city region.
 
Almost 800 new hotel bedrooms are set to be delivered across the conurbation in the next 12 months, with new openings including: Motel One (330 rooms), Innside by Melia (208), Hotel Football (138), Hotel Gotham (66) and King Street Townhouse (40).
 
Nick Brooks-Sykes, director of tourism at Marketing Manchester, said: “2014 was a very good year for Greater Manchester’s hotel industry with occupancy levels outstripping previous records set across the conurbation. To see figures continue to rise alongside ever-expanding bedroom stock speaks volumes about the current health of our tourism industry.”
 
With new hotel operators preparing to enter the market and the tourism calendar likely to drive more business, 2015 is shaping up well, according to Brooks-Sykes.
 
“We kick off with the reopening of the Whitworth in a couple of weeks; the opening of HOME follows in May; the Manchester International Festival and Manchester Pride’s 25th anniversary take place over the summer; Rugby World Cup comes to Manchester in October; and then before you know it the Manchester Christmas Markets will be back,” he added.
 
Paul Bayliss, chair of the Manchester Hoteliers Association, also welcomed the new high occupancy levels. “The region’s profile is undoubtedly on the up and as a result we’ve seen a noticeable increase in forward bookings, particularly when the city is hosting major events, conferences and festivals.”
 
Bayliss noted a demand for more sophisticated and novel offers as the guest demographic changed. “With increases in visitors from places such as China, India and the United States, the future looks bright for Greater Manchester’s hotel industry,” he added.
 
Hotel occupancy in Greater Manchester is measured through the hotels subscribed to the STR Global occupancy tool.

Trafford in Manchester was one of the regional out-performers in a new report on nationwide property prices from the Savills estate agency.

With the North West seeing a one per cent dip in prices from 2010-2014, Trafford posted an average 16 per cent rise, ahead of other regional hotspots Bath and York, albeit still behind London’s 40 per cent growth rate over the period.

Birmingham hotels have also posted record-breaking occupancy levels, as high as 85 per cent, according to STR Global’s new figures.

The region’s busy conferencing and corporate event calendar also saw weekday occupancy rates enjoy a marked rise, up 5.1 per cent year on year in the final quarter of 2014.

Patrick Stapleton, general manager at Hilton Birmingham Metropole added: “Birmingham’s hoteliers are continuing to enjoy the benefits of the city’s outstanding events calendar – the rising midweek figures in particular demonstrate Birmingham’s dominance as the UK’s leading business events city.”
 
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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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