London is holding off competition in the events industry despite high room rates, tight occupancy and a strong currency.
New figures from industry analyst Global STR reveals that hotels saw a 1.9-% dip in average daily rate to £158.71 and a 0.6-per cent increase in occupancy to 88.1 per cent last month.
The research company said London reported increases in supply (+2.6%) and demand (+3.3 %), and a 1.3-per cent decrease in revenue per available room to £139.77.
A spokeswoman for Global STR said: “London saw an increase in demand despite an earlier Ramadan and later Wimbledon. London routinely experiences an influx of Middle Eastern travellers during summer months, but those travellers leave during Ramadan. Wimbledon began one week later than usual; thus, demand from the event shifted into July.
“Occupancy in the market increased as demand growth outpaced supply, but the loss of those source markets for a temporary period might have contributed to the market’s drop in the average daily rate. The weakness of the euro is also a factor to take into account.”
Hannah Wilkinson, director of business strategy at event organiser Vibrant said London is returning to favour as the recession eases.
She said: “We are seeing a trend in professional conference organises brining events back to London following the recession when Birmingham or Manchester may have been chosen.
“If you look at European cities such as Paris or Amsterdam, London compares well. I think London makes for a better delegate experience for reasons of logistics, access, and options. If you think about finding dinning venues in Liverpool, say, then London is always going to give more choice. Bedstock can be a challenge in the summer months with all the big events but you never have a problem finding the right transport so you can put delegates out of the centre.”