• UK outlook robust say hoteliers

The trading outlook for UK chain hotels is robust, according to an opinion survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting.

More than four in five hoteliers surveyed said they expected the revpar increase in 2008 to be stronger in 2007.

Mark Dickens, managing director of HotStats at TRI, said: "The general high level of confidence among the UK's hoteliers is surprising, given that most indicators are telling us that 2008 will be a much tougher year for the UK economy than 2007."

The survey highlights just how far many in the UK hotel industry have to go in terms of recalibrating their forecasting techniques.

One problem in hoteliers accepting the future might be the lag in performance. It typically takes about two quarters for a slowdown in the economy to feed through into the performance figures for the hotel sector.

It seems hoteliers are enjoying robust trading and are continuing to extrapolate forward based on bumper numbers in 2007 despite clear evidence that the economy is slowing.

The most realistic of the operators were those in the larger companies, according to TRI. And like TRI, these companies are forecasting a significant drop in revpar during 2008 compared to 2007.

The TRI numbers predict a 3.6% growth in revpar for the UK as a whole against the 6.6% achieved in 2007 and 8.4% in 2006. For London, the figures are 4.8% against 9.6% in 2007 and 15.1% in 2006. In the provinces it is 3.6% against 6.6% in 2007 and 8.4% in 2006.

Share →