ASM Hotel Survey for Q1

23 May 2011

After a pilot for the last quarter of 2010, the NIHF and ASM have produced first quarter results for the province's hotels. Regrettably, these show a continuing weakening in the marketplace with all indicators going down and wage costs rising.

Demand for rooms continued to fall with occupancy falling below 55% on a province-wide basis and average rates heading in a similar direction. This is a small decrease from the last quarter for 2010 but given the difficult climatic conditions the figure is even more worrying. It should be noted that the payroll costs, while showing an increase in percentage terms, are in fact lower in absolute terms. The rate of decline in payroll is slower than the downward trend in revenue.

It is surprising that Gross Operating Profit per available room (GOPPAR) has deteriorated. However, the rate of decline suggests that certain operating costs may be increasing or are not being as well controlled as they could be. In other words, the substantial reduction in Gross Operating Profit cannot solely be accounted for by the reduction in income.

The report also looked at the two main cities in Northern Ireland: Belfast where over 60% of the province hotel stock is based had a occupancy of 55.1%, slightly higher than the industry average, and an average room rate of £55.40. Both figures are down on last year. Wage costs only rose by 0.2%, which suggests good control in this area.

Derry-Londonderry saw a 1.3% drop in occupancy and a 2.7% drop in room rate. Costs, including payroll, were well controlled and gross profit per room contracted less than 1%. A real result in the current marketplace!

This report only highlights the difficult trading conditions in the market. ASM and NIHF plan to run this report for all of 2011 and would encourage members to contribute. A full copy of this report is available in the member area of the NIHF website. Those who contributed are entitled to an individual comparison showing their performance against the industry norm. This can be obtained by contacting Michael Williamson at ASM on

Q1 Chart

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