By Daniel Hunter

London hotels had a solid month in May but continued to lag behind their regional counterparts, according to preliminary hotel figures released by business advisory and accountancy firm, BDO LLP.

London hotels posted a 0.9% year-on-year reduction in room rate to £136.27, compared with £137.45 12 months ago, and a 1.9% increase in occupancy from 83.6% to 85.2%. This resulted in rooms yield growth of 1.0% from £114.99 to £116.12.

In the regions, a 1.7% drop in room rate to £60.32, compared with £61.38 in May 2012, was offset by a 4.1% rise in occupancy from 72.7% to 75.7%. Rooms yield consequently improved by 2.3% from £44.65 to £45.67.

“It is encouraging to see operators across the country posting year-on-year growth in rooms yield. Hotels in London, in particular, will be relieved that they are back in the black after several difficult months," Robert Barnard, partner at BDO LLP, commented.

“The market remains challenging but the sector is, as always, putting up a strong fight. Hotels are being canny and using a wide range of tactics, including selective price discounting, to reinforce revenues at a time when the economy is only just starting to show signs of improvement.”

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