Data from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) shows that despite UK occupancy remaining below that of its European rivals, there are signs the industry is set for a positive 2018.
After benefitting from an increase of tourists taking advantage of the loss in value of the pound, the UK occupancy rate has almost stabilised (-0.1%), however it remains below the European average (2.3%).
ALMR state that VisitBritain forecasts show that overseas visits to the UK will continue to grow in 2018 reaching 41.7 million visits, an increase of 4.4% on 2017; and £26.9bn in visitor spending, an increase of 6.8% on 2017.
VisitBritain and ALMR also cite that events such as the royal wedding in May, expected to draw in tourists from across the globe, means that UK hotels enter a positive 2018.
The research reveals that after an encouraging October with RevPAR up 5.2%, a strong November followed with an increase in its RevPAR by 6.9%, December 2017 presented further growth in global RevPAR by 6.3%.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The latest figures show how we need to be conscious of any legislative changes at a time when the sector is wanting to cement a competitive advantage – particularly as we begin to experience an increase in occupancy rates.
“As the only national trade body dedicated to representing and helping protect the interests of licensed hospitality operators, we’ll continue to work with government to lobby for increased support of the sector.
“Europe as a whole is experiencing positive momentum and growth prospects as consumer travel confidence returns and we must ensure that the UK isn’t left behind.”
The results represent the performance of corporate brand hotels in Europe. The sample consists of a total of more than 6,500 hotels, representing more than 800,000 rooms and compiled by HOTREC, the European hospitality trade association.