Amsterdam's chain hotels had the best room sales performance in April, according to the latest HotStats survey of 10 European cities by TRI Hospitality Consulting.
At €121.87 per available room, Amsterdam's daily rooms revenue (RevPAR) was ahead of London with €120.31 and Paris in third place with €118.14.
Compared to recent months there was stronger demand for branded hotels in the Dutch capital. Average room occupancy was 78.7 per cent, just 2.2 percentage points behind April 2008, and higher than the 76 per cent reported for the Easter month of March 2008.
"There are tentative signs that volume is returning to Amsterdam hotels and the imminent scrapping of the Dutch airport tax will be further welcome news for local tourism businesses," said Jonathan Langston, managing director, TRI Hospitality Consulting.
The environmental airport tax, which the Dutch government introduced last July, is to be withdrawn from 1 July 2009 making air travel to and from Amsterdam cheaper.
In April, Easter leisure trips and the Queen's Day national holiday compensated somewhat for the reduction in corporate room-nights. One central Amsterdam hotelier said the volume of three to four-night stays was similar to last year, but spontaneous weekend breaks, particularly from the UK, were still yet to recover.
Average room rate was the second highest in the survey at €154.82. Relatively high occupancy and average rates, therefore, gave Amsterdam the best daily RevPAR out of the ten cities.
London hotels are the fullest
Four out of ten cities reported room occupancy over the 70 per cent mark. London's branded four and five-star hotels were the clear front runners with an average occupancy of 85.2 per cent. After Amsterdam in second place, Paris reported 76 per cent occupancy and Hamburg 72.5 per cent.
London also had the lowest payroll costs at 25.4 per cent of total revenue, helping make it the most profitable city in the survey; each available room generated €78.43 per day in income before fixed charges (IBFC) - a proxy measure of gross operating profit.
As expected, the non like-for-like comparison due to last year's early Easter and the widespread declines in corporate room-nights exacerbated the falls in average room rates across nearly all European hotel markets surveyed.
The exception was Warsaw which reported little year-on-year difference in average room rate. Hotels in the Polish capital experienced a substantial overall decline in room occupancy from 75.6 to 60.1 per cent with no significant shift in the mix of room-nights. Average room rate dipped by 1.6 per cent from €91.13 in April 2008 to €89.66 in April 2009, the lowest absolute value in the survey.