Figures from Liverpool City Council showed there were 289,384 hotel rooms sold in the city centre in January and February against 284,266 sold in the same two months last year. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s city centre hotels have continued their upward trend into 2018 after seeing a record number of rooms sold in a best-ever February.
Figures from Liverpool City Council showed there were 289,384 hotel rooms sold in the city centre in January and February against 284,266 sold in the same two months last year.
Hotels saw their best-ever February with a record 151,944 rooms sold – almost 7,000 higher than in the same month in 2017. These early encouraging figures offer confidence the city could exceed the 2m-plus rooms sold in 2017 by the end of this year.
The figures also offer a contrast with Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year in 2008. Then the city centre had 33 hotels with 3,159 rooms. That has since soared to 65 hotels/apart hotels with a total of 7,598 rooms.
Average occupancy levels for the first two months of the year were up from 69.1% last year to 70.5% this year. Revpar (profit-per-room) was £47.65, up from £47.05 last year. Average revpar for weekends showed a healthy rise from £71.64 to £75.85.
‘Feast or famine’
However, in a round table discussion organised by business lobby group Downtown in Liverpool last week, one hotel executive said there was still an major element of “feast or famine” where hotels were full at weekends but sometimes struggling to sell rooms on weeknights.
The ‘Power Panel members concluded that the city was not succeeding in attracting enough business travellers – with the exception being when there was a major conference on at ACC Liverpool.
They cited Liverpool’s low business density compared to other cities adding it would be necessary to step up efforts to attract more blue chip companies to set up offices in the city to address the issue.
Liverpool is continuing to see new hotels opening with a number planned this year and in the coming couple of years. Signature Living plans to open its Dixie Dean-themed hotel later this year with work on the Times Hotel by Vincent, a project by Elliot Group, in the Ropewalks district.
Developer YPG plans a luxury hotel close to Bluecoat Chambers and new hotels are also planned for the current Liverpool Echo building in Old Hall Street and in the city’s £1bn Knowledge Quarter.
A study published by property consultancy Colliers International last week said the number of hotel rooms across the whole city would grow by 14% to more than 9,300 over the next two years.