As Birmingham becomes increasingly relevant in Britain’s business economy, more and more business leaders are descending on the city to seek investment opportunities and expansion options. This, combined with a boom in tourism figures, has seen hotel occupancy in the West Midlands’ major city reach a new high according to a new report.
During September, hotel occupancy rates climbed to an 82 per cent average, the highest figure since records began in 2003. Furthermore, the average room rate also grew, this time to a three year high, amounting to £66 compared to the £56 recorded in September last year.
The report, compiled jointly by travel research company STR Global and the Marketing Birmingham Regional Observatory, confirmed that Birmingham is proving increasingly attractive for visitors. September’s occupancy results were 7 per cent higher than those of the previous year, and 16 per cent higher than the averages recorded in the previous month, indicating that the numerous high profile events taking place in the city as the year progresses are proving extremely profitable for the hotel sector.
Director of marketing services at Marketing Birmingham, Emma Gray, believes that the report will be welcomed by hotel operators in the city.
She says; “These are extremely encouraging results for Birmingham’s hotel sector.
“The sheer number of high profile events taking place in September has generated an unprecedented peak in hotel occupancy across the city.”
Birmingham hosted not one but two political party conferences during September, each of which required a huge amount of hotel space for attendees. The Conservatory Party Autumn Conference held at the ICC, for example, brought an estimated 14,000 delegates to Birmingham, while the Green Party’s event at Conference Aston also saw a strong turnout.
Political events were only the tip of the iceberg for Birmingham’s hotel sector, however, as there were also a raft of sporting and business events also taking place during the month. Two international cricket matches between England and India were held at Edgbaston Stadium, the National Housing Federation’s Annual Conference required 1,000 hotel rooms for attendees and the Autumn Fair 2014 attracted visitors from around the country.
This report will no doubt prove encouraging for operators in the hotel sector but also in the wider leisure industry, particularly as Birmingham is now in the process of gearing up for its annual Christmas extravaganza. The famous Frankfurt Christmas Market – the largest of its kind outside of Germany and Austria – is already in place and attracting numerous guests in its first week of opening, while marketing teams throughout the city are preparing for an influx of consumers keen to make the most of the Christmas trading period, kicking off with Black Friday celebrations.
With tourism and business playing increasingly important parts in Birmingham’s local economy, many firms within the city stand to benefit from the rise in footfall throughout the city centre. However, it seems that the hotel sector is so far benefiting more than most.
Do you think new records will be set next year when the highly anticipated Grand Central scheme is completed?