Photo: Rept0n1x - Wikimedia Commons
Richard Bell

Manchester hotel occupancy rates surpass pre-recession peak

Hotels in Manchester are experiencing their highest occupancy levels since records began, according to new data.

From January to June this year, hotels in the city centre reported a collective occupancy rate of 78%, setting a new record for the city. In the first six months of 2014, occupancy reached 75%.

According to Marketing Manchester, which revealed the data, the previous peak was 76% in 2007. The county as a whole likewise performed strongly, with an average occupancy of 77%.

June was the strongest month for hotels in the city and elsewhere in Greater Manchester, with both categories reaching an occupancy rate of 81% during the month. This represents the third time the figure has surpassed 80% since the data was first compiled in 2000.

Two week nights in the month, June 23 and 24, saw city centre occupancy levels hit 98% after the Old Trafford Cricket Ground hosted a match between New Zealand and England, and crowds swarmed on Manchester Arena to see pop singer Taylor Swift perform.

According to Marketing Manchester, business tourism also boosted the city’s visitor numbers on June 23 and 24, as the Town Hall hosted the OECD LEED Forum and the Chartered Institute of Housing drew 7,000 people to the city.

Marketing Manchester’s director of tourism, Nick Brooks-Sykes, commented: “2014 was an exceptional year for Greater Manchester’s hotel industry and it is pleasing to see that level of achievement being carried forward in to the first half of 2015.

“Occupancy rates reaching a 15-year high are clear evidence of the current vitality of our tourism industry.”

He concluded: “We fully expect this positive trend to continue in to the second half of the year as the calendar is filled with significant tourism developments.”

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