Following the 22 March terrorist attack in Westminster, London's hotels experienced no clear performance declines, according to data gathered by STR.
LONDON—There was no evident performance decline for London’s hotel industry following the terrorist attack on 22 March, according to preliminary data from STR.
When examining daily data from 22-28 March, STR analysts note that London’s occupancy levels remained in line with typical March performance patterns. Further, during the days following the event, the market recorded significant year-over-year growth in both occupancy and average daily rate (ADR). Three days after the attack (25 March), the U.K. capital’s actual occupancy level was 86.4%, while ADR reached GBP147.32, a 22.6% increase compared with the same day in 2016. The highest occupancy level during the days following the attack was 88.2% (28 March)—roughly the same level as the night of the attack.
The lack of performance disruption in London differed from the situations around other recent attacks (Nice in July 2016 and Berlin in December 2016). Within four days of the 14 July Bastille Day attack, Nice’s daily occupancy dropped from 94.6% to 72.8%. Berlin experienced less severe declines following the 19 December attack on a Christmas market. A drop in actual occupancy levels was seen in the first three days after the attack, but STR analysts note that this is typical for the market during the lead up to Christmas.
“We’re seeing now that the way a hotel market reacts to an attack really does depend on the severity,” said Thomas Emanuel, STR’s director of business development. “Of course, any time innocent lives are lost or people are injured, it’s tragic. But this most recent attack in London and even the December attack in Berlin have not had much of an impact on hotel performance. When there is a larger number of casualties, as was the case in Nice, Brussels and Paris over the past two years, it takes a longer duration without additional incidents for tourism confidence to grow. This is also what we’ve noticed in Istanbul, as it remains to be seen when the market will be deemed a safe destination again.”
As STR reported last year, it has historically taken a market’s hotels a period of three months without a subsequent attack to begin performance recovery.
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