Current Affairs

No London hotel disruption after Westminster attack

There has been no evidence of a performance decline for London’s hotel industry following the terrorist attack in Westminster on 22 March.

Four people died in the Westminster attack last month including Aysha Frade, 44, who worked at a London sixth-form college; American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, from Utah; retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, from south London; and father-of-two PC Keith Palmer, 48.

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An analysis of daily data from 22 to 28 March by hotel benchmarking firm STR, found occupancy levels in the capital remained in line with typical March performance patterns.

Further, during the days following the event, the market recorded significant year-over-year growth in both occupancy and average daily rate (ADR).

Three days after the attack (25 March), London’s actual occupancy level was 86.4%, while ADR reached £147.32 – a 22.6% increase compared with the same day in 2016. The highest occupancy level during the days following the attack was 88.2% on 28 March), roughly the same level as the night of the attack.

The lack of performance disruption in London differed from the situations around other recent attacks. Within four days of the 14 July Bastille Day attack, Nice’s daily occupancy dropped from 94.6% to 72.8%.

Thomas Emanuel, director at STR, said the way a hotel market reacts to an attack depends on its “severity”.

“Of course, any time innocent lives are lost or people are injured, it’s tragic. But this most recent attack in London and even the December attack in Berlin have not had much of an impact on hotel performance,” he said.
“When there is a larger number of casualties, as was the case in Nice, Brussels and Paris over the past two years, it takes a longer duration without additional incidents for tourism confidence to grow.”

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