Hotels in new city shrug off Olympic dip

Hotels in Milton Keynes have shown resilience in shrugging off dips in business caused by bad weather and the Olympics.

That’s the view of hospitality and leisure sector experts at the Milton Keynes office of business advisors PwC who are forecasting that 2013 will be “flat”.

Occupancy rates edged up from 70 per cent to 71 per cent between August 2011 and a year later while average daily rates rose £2 to £53.

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Matthew Mullins, partner and hospitality and leisure sector expert at PwC in Midsummer Boulevard, said: “One-off events such as the Jubilee and the Olympics have had a positive effect on London with record ADR rates but outside of the capital the impact has been more erratic.

“Coupled with the persistent wet weather in the first part of the year, demand for hotels in areas outside London has been dampened, more so for mid-range hotels rather than for those at the top and value ends of the market.”

He continued that it encouraging that occupancy, average daily rate and rates at hotels in Milton Keynes all rose slightly in August compared to the same month last year, despite the tough trading conditions.

Hoteliers and leisure sector investors are still contending with the aftermath of the financial crisis and have had to adapt to a lack of consumer spend, Mr Mullins added. They have therefore been unable to increase prices.

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He said: “PwC is expecting current occupancy and ADR rates in towns and cities, such as Milton Keynes, to continue in the year ahead.

Matthew Mullins added: “At present, the outlook for the hotel sector in towns and cities like Milton Keynes in 2013 is broadly flat, with most hoteliers maintaining their current outlook. Local hoteliers therefore need to clearly identify their offering and avoid the middle ground in order to capitalise on opportunities for occupancy growth and higher revenue.”