London trails Manchester in post-pandemic hotel occupancy recovery

Hotel room occupancy in London remains below January 2022, lagging behind hotel occupancy in Manchester, data from STR - a division of CoStar Group – reveals.

London hotel room occupancy in January 2023 was 65.1 per cent, down 6 per cent from January 2020's rate of 71.1 per cent.

This comes as average daily room rates (ADR) have risen by 14 per cent from £132.40 in January 2020 to £150.60 in January 2023 and revenue per available room (revpar) increased 4.3 percent from £93.95 to £97.99.

However, in the north, Manchester succeeded in beating its pre-pandemic occupancy rates with occupancy in January 2023 at 68.5 per cent, up 1.3 per cent from January 2020’s 67.2 per cent. revpar increased over the three years from £43.47 to £51.10, up 18 per cent, while ADR over the same period rose from £64.71 to £47.94 or by 15.8 per cent.

Northern counterpart Liverpool saw a drop in occupancy in January 2023 to 56.1 per cent compared to 61.7 per cent in January 2020. This was as revpar increased by 4.9 per cent from £39.64 in January 2020 to £41.57 in January 2023, while over the same period ADR rose from £64.24 to £74.11, up 15.4 per cent.

Cristina Balekjian, director of hospitality analytics at CoStar Group notes that although London hotel occupancy remained slightly below pre-pandemic levels in January, the market has recovered considerably from a year ago.

“In the first month of 2022, the market recorded an occupancy that was nearly half the level of January 2023. The capital’s reopening and return of business travellers helped push performance throughout 2022, and we can expect this recovery to continue into 2023.

"Visits to regional cities, such as Manchester and Liverpool, also showed signs of recovery, particularly in Manchester as January occupancy surpassed comparable 2020 levels. Among the classes, economy and midscale hotels are performing particularly well, largely driven by the cost-of-living crisis as consumers priortise services and experiences, albeit at a lower rate.”