Cornwall hotel occupancy soared between 6% and 7% during July and August 2013 on the previous year, attributed to good weather.
A report by the Truro office of Francis Clark, a charted accountancy which surveys more than 1.2 million Cornwall bed nights a year, said the increase brought occupancy up to pre-recession levels.
“Increases of this magnitude across the two main summer months are unprecedented and particularly pleasing with August occupancies more in line with 2006/7 after a number of years of decline,” said partner partner Tom Roach.
“The fine weather played a big part in this and there was evidence that people were making their bookings later, so it is important that businesses respond to this trend through their marketing approach.”
Hugh Ridgway, owner of the St Moritz hotel and spa near Rock, said a few difficult years had forced the property to be more innovative in its approach to marketing.
“We’re having to be very creative with incentives and value-added packages to encourage customers. People are still being very careful — they are working harder to earn their money and when they make a purchase choice they want to be assured they will get maximum value for money and excellent quality and service.”
As a result, Francis Clark reported a increased spending in repairs and capital projects within the county’s hotel sector.
Stephen Baker, owner of the Carbis Bay Hotel and Spa added: “The hotel and restaurant sector has continued to grow again this year and the money we have invested in upgrading the hotel has definitely helped increase bookings.
“This has led to 2013 being the busiest season we’ve had in seven years, and the good weather experienced this summer has meant figures being better than many were expecting. We are continuing to invest in the hotel, with a new luxury spa just completed and planning permission granted for a new, multi-function beachfront development, which will help to provide a year-round boost to the tourism economy.”
Roach added: “We are starting to see more projects being started which may have been put on hold due to concerns about trading conditions. Banks are becoming more confident about funding, and if their covenant requirements can be met, they are offering good value lending. Investment by existing hoteliers is key to ensuring that the quality remains high and the South West remains the pre-eminent region for holidaying in the UK.”
Francis Clark was unavailable to disclose other statistics such as revPAR and ADR when contacted by Boutique Hotelier.