By Daniel Hunter

Hotels in the regions continued to outperform whilst their London counterparts discounted prices, according to preliminary hotel figures for the month of April released by business advisory and accountancy firm, BDO LLP.

Regional hotels posted a 0.1% year-on-year increase in room rate to £54.71, compared with £54.67 12 months ago, and a 5.6% rise in occupancy from 69.1% to 73.1%. This resulted in rooms yield growth of 5.7% from £37.82 to £39.96.

London, by contrast, experienced a 7.0% drop in room rate to £115.77, compared with £124.51 in April 2012, and a 1.7% reduction in occupancy from 83.9% to 82.5%. Rooms yield consequently declined by 8.6% from £104.46 to £95.45.

“The figures for London look disappointing but need to be put into context: April 2012 was a particularly strong month for the capital’s hoteliers - rooms yield increased by 7.8% this time last year - and was therefore always going to be a tough act to follow," Robert Barnard, partner at BDO LLP, commented.

“We’re also seeing continued evidence of price discounting amongst operators as they seek to fill the extra capacity created ahead of last summer’s Olympics, which has the effect of squeezing yields.

“This is another stellar performance from regional operators. Make no mistake: the operating environment remains challenging for much of the sector, so hoteliers in the regions deserve credit for consistently delivering year-on-year top line growth.

“Looking ahead, London will be hoping to benefit from the forthcoming Champions League final, which will be played at Wembley for the first time since 2011, and from the gradual uptick in consumer and business confidence that we have started to see recently.”

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