Birmingham hotels break October occupancy record

October occupancy rates in city’s hotels hit 81%, a 2% rise from same month in 2014.

Birmingham’s hotels achieved a record 81% occupancy rate in October 2015 – bolstered by a number of festivals, exhibitions and the arrival of One Direction.

The figures are a 2% increase on October 2014 and a 7% growth compared with October 2013, according to latest figures from travel research company STR Global and analysis from the Marketing Birmingham Regional Observatory. It is the 16th month in succession where hotel occupancy rates have been higher compared with the same period in the previous year.

At £66, the average room rate in Birmingham has risen from £61 in October 2014. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) continued its year-on-year increase for the 17th consecutive month, rising from £48 in 2014 to £54 in 2015.

Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Following a landmark September in Birmingham, which saw thousands of visitors enjoy the launch of Grand Central and New Street station along with two Rugby World Cup fixtures, it’s encouraging to see the city’s hotels continue their positive momentum with a record-breaking October.

“These are exciting times for Birmingham, with more tourists than ever visiting the city and a number of significant investment projects coming to fruition. Room revenue in the city has shown a consistent rise in recent years, proving that our accommodation sector is in good health.”

Notable events in October, which boosted Birmingham’s hotel occupancy, included the first-ever Print Show trade exhibition, attracting more than 5,300 visitors from the UK’s printing industry to the National Exhibition Centre. The Barclaycard Arena played host to three One Direction concerts, while the city’s cultural calendar featured the Birmingham Comedy Festival (2nd-11th October), Fierce Festival (7th-11th October) and Birmingham Literature Festival (8th-17th October).

The average weekday occupancy rate was higher than at the weekend for the fourth month in the past five, with 85.5% of Birmingham’s hotel rooms full between Monday and Thursday, compared with 84.7% on Friday and Saturday.

Gordon Tyler, General Manager of Birmingham Marriott Hotel, added: “We have enjoyed an increased level of enquiries at the Marriott in recent months, particularly from groups and short-stay customers, helping to boost our average occupancy rate.

“Birmingham’s growing reputation as a leisure and business destination is driving confidence in the city’s hotel sector. As the city welcomes more investment, we will continue to focus on being Birmingham’s classic hotel, small enough to care.”

There are currently eleven hotels in the planning or construction process in Birmingham, including Europe’s first Park Regis hotel. The 253-room property, which includes the city’s largest presidential suite, opens in March in the former Auchinleck House building on Broad Street.