Leading Wales hotelier fears market decline permanent

CARDIFF, WALES The chairman of the Cardiff Hoteliers’ Association warns that the steep decline in occupancy and RevPAR in Wales’ largest city could become permanent unless the government addresses the need for a convention center and an overall saturation of hotels.

Hugh Hilary, who is also general manager of Park Plaza Cardiff, says hotels in Wales have not seen the spike in demand that many regional hoteliers had expected in connection with the Ryder Cup golf tournament.

“Until we have a convention center that might help reverse the trend, it might be a permanent decline,” Hilary tells WalesOnline. “We need a catalyst to bring new events into what is a fantastic town.”

PKF Hospitality Research reports that Wales hotels saw declines in ADR and RevPAR in May compared with the same month last year. Occupancy was up from 71.1% to 72.3%, but room rates fell 3.7% from £56.37 in 2009 to £54.29 this year. Results were worse in Cardiff particularly, where occupancy in May dropped 1.3% and ADR slipped 1.7% year over year.