United Kingdom Hotels Start to Heal

by Alister POOLE on September 22, 2009

According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, hotels in the United Kingdom should be over the worst of the recession and will start to bounce back in the year 2010.  The global recession has coupled with the outbreak of the swine flu to make 2009 one of the worst years for the travel and tourism industry.  Especially hard hit were hotels, which saw their occupancy numbers drop steeply over the last few years.  This has led to drastic measures by some, but according to the latest PWC report, this may soon be over.

The report says that although the decline in occupancy rates will continue up until Christmas, the bleeding should start to slow after the new year.  The study predicts that the twelve percent decrease in room occupancy in 2009 will slow to just over two percent in 2010, which is great news for hoteliers.

Although the number of tourists is down over the last year, this is not the main reason why so many hotels are struggling. The steepest decline, and that most responsible for the empty rooms, was in the business travel sector, which has gone down as companies desperately look for any way to cut their budgets.

This loss of business travel has been particularly harmful for the hotel industry, which also loses revenue from lost conferences and all of the extra things like room service in which business travelers tend to indulge.  However, as the world economy starts to bounce back from the recession, hotels expect the number of business travelers to grow, which is why the forecast is partially optimistic.

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