The UK hotel sector has seen a rapid recovery of occupancy levels in Europe, with rates now exceeding 80 per cent of the pre-coveted level.
According to the latest data from industry expert STR, hotel occupancy in the UK reached 87 percent of the comparable level in mid-April 2019 – it was the highest percentage in Europe, ahead of Poland (84 percent occupancy) and Ireland (81 percent).
Across the continent, hotel occupancy has risen to 70 percent of pre-epidemic levels as the industry returns to the blip seen in early 2022 due to the rapid spread of the Omicron form of Covid-19.
Robin Rossmann, managing director of STR, added: “Generally, leisure-dependent markets are at the forefront of the timeline, but recently there are encouraging signs of a return to life in gateway cities that are more dependent on corporate demand.”
STR predicts that major European hotel markets will return to 90-to-100 percent of occupancy levels by mid-2019.
The UK has been consistently leading the way in hotel restoration in Europe for the past year. But it was briefly overtaken by Poland in March, when occupations in Ukraine rose to 94 percent in the weeks leading up to the Russian invasion, as Ukrainian refugees fled across the border to escape the war and were housed in hotels. Although the Polish hotel occupancy has now dropped below the UK level.
Countries such as Austria, Italy and Germany have so far lagged behind other major European countries in recovering hotel occupancy rates this year.