London received global attention during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as the city hosted festivities over four days in the beginning of June for hundreds of thousands well-wishers, who lined up along the Thames River or along the streets between St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. For hoteliers it meant hosting visitors from around the world and the country.
Hotels in London saw occupancy reach 90.5% on Saturday night (June 2) and benefited from the extended weekend to boost the traditionally low Sunday night with occupancy reaching 79.3%, up 20.8%, according to STR Global.
“The Jubilee weekend has been a fantastic opportunity for London to once again showcase its heritage and pageantry and to be under the spotlight as a destination capable of handling large scale events,” said Elizabeth Randall, managing director at STR Global. “Across all hotel segments, performance increased during Saturday and Sunday, as the festivities came to their climax. However, due to the public holidays during Monday and Tuesday (June 4 and 5), the missing business and meeting travelers impacted the weekday performances.”
Looking at RevPAR performance by class across London, Sunday night saw the biggest RevPAR growth. The economy class saw the largest RevPAR growth, up 54.6% Sunday night compared to the previous year, led by an increase in average daily rate of 52.3% to £64.52 (US$99.77). The upper midscale class increased RevPAR by 30.9% on the same night, led by a 30.9% increase in occupancy to 80%.
Sunday night saw the biggest RevPAR improvements in three out of nine London markets. Wandsworth-Southbank-Tower Bridge, Outer London and The City/Shoreditch areas reported increases of 73.5%, 43.2% and 31.4%, respectively. The highest occupancy of the five-day period was achieved June 2 in an area south of the river between Wandsworth and Tower Bridge reporting 98.4%, as guests benefited from the closeness to the River Pageant on Sunday. The highest rate of the five-day period could be found, as it is traditionally, in the Knightsbridge/Pimlico/Victoria market with £227.48 (US$351.76) on Friday night.
The rest of the week (June 4 through 9), on the other hand, was more challenging for hoteliers as leisure visitors replaced the traditional corporate business. London hotels saw the biggest drop Tuesday with occupancy declining by 38.9% to 57.6%, compared to the previous year.