Data from STR Global, the leading provider of market information to the world's hotel industry, shows the decline of the Belfast hotel market being offset by surprisingly competitive recent revenue per available room. The year-over-year percentage change in RevPAR for the 14 hotels sampled by STR Global in Belfast-which includes a mix of independent, domestic and international branded properties-has been in accelerated decline since September 2008.
As seen in the chart below, declines in both occupancy and average daily rate resulted in the RevPAR downturn. Even the 6-percent increase in year-over-year occupancy during January 2009 was unable to reverse the trend. "The name of the game in this market is not making more money than your competitors, it's making sure that you lose less", explained James Chappell, managing director of STR Global. "It is all about market share. Hotels need to first establish what their market share is and then review the effect each pricing decision has on their RevPAR penetration."
Belfast - year-over-year percentage changes in RevPAR, ADR & Occupancy
Source: STR Global
Belfast has nevertheless maintained a healthy RevPAR for the year through April 2009 when compared with selected competitor markets across the U.K. and Ireland. Only London and Aberdeen rank higher than the Northern Irish city as seen in the table below. To put this into context, Belfast has fared the worst when it comes to the year-over-year percentage change in RevPAR for the same period, with a 17.8-percent decline.
RevPAR and year-on-year percentage change in RevPAR for year-to-April 2009
Source: STR Global
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For more than 20 years, STR has been the recognized leader for lodging industry benchmarking and research. STR and STR Global offer monthly, weekly, and daily STAR benchmarking reports to more than 37,000 hotel clients, representing nearly 5 million rooms worldwide. STR is headquartered in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and STR Global is based in London. For more information, visit www.strglobal.com or www.hotelnewsnow.com.