London was rocking last weekend.
Friday, 13th July 2007
Source : HotelBenchmark™ by Deloitte
All eyes were on London last weekend as the UK's capital played host to a glittering showcase of global events.

With iconic landmarks, world class facilities and a truly international feel, the city is ideally positioned for holding major events.

So from 6-8 July 2007 London showed off its attractions to the world as it held three of the largest events of the year: the Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium, the tennis finals at Wimbledon and, for the first time in its 104-year history, the Tour de France. Using results from Daily HotelBenchmark™ by Deloitte, we can see how these events affected hotel performance.

Undeterred by the unpredictable British weather and recent security threats, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the city in anticipation of the two-day sport and entertainment extravaganza. It is estimated that more than 1m people turned out to watch Saturday's prologue event of the Tour de France, and that similar numbers lined the 203km first leg of the race the following day. Together with the 15,000-plus spectators at Wimbledon and the 90,000 attending Live Earth, the weekend of 6-8 July 2007 was rightly labelled ‘London's busiest weekend of the year'.

One of the reasons London was in a position to host such vast numbers is its provision of accommodation. According to Visit London, the capital has over 80,000 hotel rooms, spread across all gradings. But with demand for rooms so high last weekend, even such a large supply was almost saturated. The organisers of the Tour de France alone were expected to reserve 1,200 of the capital's rooms each day for teams, staff and press. Occupancy levels rose to 91% and 96% respectively on the Friday and Saturday nights.

Such weekends provide a rare opportunity for hotels, and for the three day period hoteliers in London managed to achieve average room rates of £149, 13.5% higher than last year. This pushed up revenue per available room (revPAR), which averaged £127 over the three day period, 24.9% higher than in 2006. And for Saturday night alone London's revPAR peaked at £143 – an incredible 36.8% rise on the previous year.

London hotels performance over 3-day period (UK £)
Source: Daily HotelBenchmark™ Survey by Deloitte

The sun shone on London last weekend, in more ways than one. The whole weekend passed without a single drop of rain, and there was even a British winner to cheer – Jamie Murray became Britain's first Wimbledon champion since 1987 by winning the mixed doubles title with his partner Jelena Jankovic. There was a carnival atmosphere in London last weekend – a city-wide celebration of music, sport and culture.

Meanwhile accommodation providers were revelling in the rare opportunity that had come their way. And with the Olympics coming to London in 2012, hoteliers can expect many more international events to be drawn to the capital. London's mayor has already said he expects the Tour de France to return to London in the future.

With the international publicity that such events generate, and its visibly successful organisation, London could be set for an unprecedented boom in the years leading up to, and beyond, 2012.

Note: All analysis in UK pounds.

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