Bookings up at Cornish hotels

Tom Roach

According to latest figures, it has been a bright first six months to the year for the Cornish hotel industry.

Numbers published by the tourism team at accountant Winter Rule, show hotel occupancy up 3.5% compared to the first six months of 2009.

The latest figures show occupancy rates to June this year are now only marginally below pre-credit crunch levels of 2007, with 58% of businesses on the database reporting bookings up on the same point in 2009. Figures for the month of June 2010 show a 7% rise on June 2009.

Tom Roach, partner at Winter Rule and tourism team leader, said: “The first signs of improvements in hotel occupancies were around September 2009 and this year, with the exception of January, when we had an exceptionally cold spell, every month has shown an improvement on the previous year. Occupancy rates to June this year are now only marginally below 2007 levels.”

Roach said positive external factors, including early good weather, had outweighed the potential negative effects of uncertainties surrounding the election, the World Cup and memories of rain in recent years.

He added: ‘With such a promising start to the holiday season it is hoped that this trend continues. The pound looked to be strengthening against the Euro which was a worrying sign however it seems to have fallen again since the beginning of July, giving an added advantage to the tourist industry in Cornwall. August, which is of course the peak month for many hotels in Cornwall, has particularly suffered over the last two years. However, early indications from booking levels would appear to be encouraging.”

The Winter Rule monthly hotel survey covers 25 of Cornwall’s key hotels of different sizes and markets which between them offer more than 800,000 bed nights a year.