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Report: London's Hotel Scene to Slow After Olympics

July 18, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that London hoteliers seem likely to have slower revenue growth next year as a surge of new rooms combines with a decline in rates and visitors after the Olympic Games.

About 7,000 rooms will be added this year, a 6.7 percent gain, bringing London’s total to 114,000 by the end of 2012, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels said in a report. An additional 5,400 rooms, a 4.8 percent increase, are expected in 2013. That compares to average annual supply growth of 2.4 percent from 2003 to 2011, according to the company, part of Chicago-based broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

There is good news, of course: London is one of Europe’s most resilient hotel markets as many of its neighbors struggle with the effects of financial turmoil and the sovereign-debt crisis. While the city will continue to be a top destination, gains in revenue per available room, a measure of occupancy and rate, will probably shrink as the high demand from the Olympics is unlikely to be sustained, a Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels survey showed in May.

For the Olympic Games, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12, average room rates across London have soared 69 percent from a year earlier to 189 pounds ($295), research and consulting company TravelClick Inc. said in a report this week.

London had a 78 percent hotel occupancy rate this year through May, the highest among the top 31 European cities, according to lodging-data provider STR Global. It ranked fifth in average nightly rates behind Geneva, Paris, Zurich and Tel Aviv, STR Global said.

London occupancy during July and August usually ranges between 80 percent and 90 percent, according to the Jones Lang report, which didn’t give a specific forecast for occupancy during the Olympic Games.

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