London’s hotels face a fall in occupancy not seen since the aftermath of 9/11, with sales next year poised to fall nearly a quarter, PwC warns today.

Banking job losses, cuts in corporate travel budgets and the prospect of the global financial crisis reducing travel to the UK will bring London hotels’ five-year boom to a shuddering halt, according to the consultants.

The warning comes on top of official figures released yesterday, which revealed a sharp decline in visitors to the UK in the three months to September, usually the tourism industry’s busiest time of the year.

PwC said a 1.9% decline in gross domestic product next year would adversely hit London hotels. While hotel occupancy in the UK would fall 1.9%, in London it would decline 8.7 per cent.

Such a fall in GDP would also mean revenue per available room, a key barometer of hotel growth, would slip 9.4% in the UK and 23.3% in the capital.

Financial Times