Slow recovery forecast

Staycation hope as city hotels slash prices

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Edinburgh’s hotels remain the UK third most expensive

The cost of an overnight stay in Edinburgh has fallen by a third as the pandemic forced hotels to slash prices.

Cancellation of the festivals contributed to a 63% decline in revenue per available room (RevPAR), the sharpest fall of any of the 24 UK cities measured in PwC’s UK Hotels Forecast 2020-2021. Occupancy halved to 40.3% from 79.8% the previous year.

Despite the fall the city remained the third most expensive in the UK behind London and Brighton.

In Glasgow, RevPAR fell by 54.2% as occupancy dropped to 24.25%, while Aberdeen saw RevPAR decline by just 1%, though occupancy fell to 44.1% from 65.5% the previous year.

PwC says the three cities should begin to recover in 2021 due to increased demand for ‘staycations’ across the UK, outside of London.

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In the bleakest outlook since benchmarking began in the 1970s, hotel occupancy rates in 2021 are forecast to be 55% across the UK, increasing from 42.2% in the year to July 2020. The study reports that it could take four years to return to pre-pandemic levels.

A slow recovery in corporate international travel and weak demand for business trips, meetings and events means the forecast is particularly bleak for London.

Overall revenue per available room is forecasted to fall significantly in 2020 to £28.72, £100 less than in 2019. 

With a vaccine, it is expected to recover to £64.81 in 2021 but in the long-term it’s unlikely that occupancy, ADR (average daily rate) and RevPAR (revenue per available room) will return to 2019 levels until at least 2023.

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