revPAR rises for hotelsRevenue per available room (revPAR) and profits are on the rise in UK hotels, according to recent reports, giving experts reason to suggest that hotels are now 'out of the worst'.

HVS London and Zolfo Cooper's latest Hotel Bulletin, which focuses on Q3 of 2013, found that there had been an average increase in revPAR of eight percent at hotels outside of London. Average profits were up by 3%.

In the capital, revPAR actually decreased by 3%, although September's revPAR was up 9% compared to the same period in 2012.

The ongoing feel-good factor of the Olympics and fine weather experienced this year has certainly helped boost hotel trade this year, and HVS London director Tim Smith has claimed the sector is now 'over the worst'.

Bank funding is also now 'relatively accessible', according to the report, although it was noted that most new openings were limited to budget hotels.

 

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / freedigitalphotos.net

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Olympic legacy boosts hospitality figuresThe London Olympic and Paralympic games have been nothing more than a memory for over twelve months now, but their legacy is still being felt economically and not least in the hospitality sector.

It appears that the UK is still benefiting from the significant worldwide exposure London 2012 granted it with a noticeable increase in tourism numbers. Hotels have been the main benefactors.

The latest figures in the Hotel Bulletin: Q3 2013 from Zolfo Cooper, HVS and AM:PM show that the UK has avoided the slump in tourist volumes which other recent host nations experienced following their Games. There's no escaping the fact that the prospect of increased congestion and perceived high prices forced many non-games visitors to avoid travelling to the UK last summer, but they now appear to be returning in greater numbers.

A long-overdue summer of warmth and little rain boosted domestic tourism during July and August this year. That, coupled with the increase in international demand saw revenue per available room (revpar) figures increase by 20% in Edinburgh, 14% in Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath, 11% in Oxford and 7% in York. London, on the other hand, saw a fall in revpar of 8.5%, which is no doubt attributable to the increased pricing strategies implemented during the 2012 Games.

 

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Google Hotel Finder goes mobileHead to google.com/hotels on your smartphone and you'll notice that the search giant's hotel finder has now been optimised for mobile browsing. Simply enter your arrival and departure dates, pop in your intended destination and press the blue search button.

Listings appear almost immediately, and the user has the option to filter the results by price, hotel class, distance and user rating.

The hotel listing pages display photos, blurb, amenities, the map location and guest reviews. You can then proceed to book the hotel either via agencies such as Booking.com or, hoteliers will be pleased to hear, via the hotel's own website.

The mobile version of Google Hotel Finder is currently confined to the US, but Google says they "hope to expand more broadly soon".

Google Hotel Finder Mobile

The Google Hotel Finder on iOS Safari

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Since the beta launch of Welcome Anywhere earlier this year, it has received a number of tweaks to the look and feel of the user interface. We are refining it further every week and, as we near the launch of the system, we have once again been busy with the paintbrush.

In this blog post, we want to show a sneak peak of the new design. We're not going to show you much, though - you'll have to wait until next week for that. Here is the 'old' login screen:

Old Welcome Anywhere login page

...and here is the new login screen:

New Welcome Anywhere login page

There's not a huge difference, at first glance. Some clouds in the background, a more rounded login window and refined typeface... Big deal? Actually - yes! The changes run far, far deeper than that. We have significantly refined the entire user interface and we can't wait to show you it.

Stay tuned...

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