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October 5, 2008

North East England hotel booking hits three-year high

Fresh figures reveal hotel occupancy in NewcastleGateshead is on the rise, with July this year seeing an unprecedented 83% of hotel rooms occupied in the city centre and quayside areas, bucking the trend of tighter economic times and a travel downturn.

The figures indicate a 2% average year-on-year rise in hotel occupancy since 2006 for hotels in the city centre and quayside.

August 2008 saw 73% of the city centre/quayside hotel rooms occupied – the highest rate for that summer month since 2005, with a rise of 2% on August last year, and a 5% rise on 2006. Both July and August 2008 combined revealed the highest summer months’ hotel room occupancy rates for three years.

Hotels in the study include Malmaison, Copthorne Hotel, Thistle Newcastle, Premier Inn Newcastle City Centre, Quality Hotel (Newcastle), Jurys Inn, greystreethotel and City Apartments Quayside.

Andrew Creese, Hotel du Vin Newcastle general manager, said: “These figures are hugely encouraging, particularly in light of the recent headlines about economic troubles. NewcastleGateshead has a breadth and range of excellent hotel accommodation and the twin cities have a friendliness, buzz, beauty and business appeal which really stands out; all of which is reflected in this new research.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Dixon, NewcastleGateshead Initiative chief executive, said: “This is a timely indication of how it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, across our hotel portfolio, it’s very upbeat news indeed.

“Our region is experiencing consistently improving hotel occupancy figures and despite a less than temperate summer we have recorded the best summer hotel occupancy rates for three years.”

“The rise in hotel occupancy is all the more remarkable when you realise that we have seen a 68% growth in city-centre hotels since 2002. The high occupancy rates are fuelling renewed interest in hotel development.”

The figures are part of a hotel occupancy forecaster tool known as Lynn Jones Research, which provides data through analysis of occupancy levels and sales on books across a region’s hotel sector. The data covers nine hotels in Newcastle city centre and a total of 26 across Tyne and Wear, where the average occupancy is 75% for June, July and August.

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