Updated: Friday, 22nd May 2020 @ 2:15pm

Record occupancy figures for Manchester hotels, but income remains same as guests look for cheapest deals

Record occupancy figures for Manchester hotels, but income remains same as guests look for cheapest deals

By Reece Lawrence

An FA Cup tie, The Killers and the National Badminton Championships are just three reasons that Manchester’s hotel industry is booming – as figures have revealed February’s occupancy rates as the highest since records began.

In the city, hotels were on average 79% full compared to 75% at the same time last year, mostly due to influx of visitors both foreign and domestic.

Occupancy across the region was also on the up, from 72% to 75%.

However, hotel firms have not reaped the benefits that increased occupancy would suggest.                                                                                       

Ian Kelly, a managing director at City Warehouse Apartments, said: “We finished our occupancy on 84.56% for February, compared to 66% last year.

“Even though the occupancy has increased our income for this February to last February was pretty much identical.

“I think people have less disposable income. A lot of our corporate clients would stay from Monday to Thursday are now staying less days, and people at weekends are constantly looking for the best deal possible.”

Mark Hiscock, General Manager at Staycity Manchester, said: “Our occupancy was slow to start with but it was very good towards the end of the month.”

He said that Staycity experienced similar income despite the boost in the use of their rooms.

“There is more competition with other hotels and apartment blocks within the city so rates are more competitive,” he said.

“It is because financial hangovers were on the wane and I think people started to go out more.”

Mr Kelly said that to get the occupancy as high as it was this time last year City Warehouse Apartments had to sell less than what they once did.

He added: “If anything it actually harms the hotel because there’s more housekeeping costs – the sales generate more of an outgoing for the hotel but there’s nothing more coming in.

“Historically there are not normally big concerts in February but there were quite a few, and obviously we had various Manchester United home matches which did bump the occupancy up.

“It’s better to be in the situation we are now than what we could be in, so we’re not complaining.”

Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, said the successful February came off the back of the highest January average since before the recession.

He added: “Busy hotels create significant opportunities for our bars, restaurants, local businesses and transport providers, and this undoubtedly has a positive impact on the local economy.

"Achieving a record like this is particularly satisfying when you consider that we now have significantly more hotel rooms than we did when we started tracking occupancy 13 years ago.”

Picture courtesy of Kamophotos, with thanks.

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