The UK hotel sector is experiencing its strongest performance in a decade, thanks to an Olympic boost and high visitor numbers, according to tourism experts. The Independent

Londonis benefiting the most from the resurgence and will need 50,000 new rooms by 2026.

‘London is booming,’ said James Bidwell, chief executive of Visit London. ‘2006 was a record year for overseas visitors to the capital. Retail sales in central London were up 11.6% on the previous year and London hotels are now experiencing their strongest performance levels since the late 1990s.’

Alexi Hakim, UK and Ireland chief operating officer at Intercontinental, which has 40 new hotels in the pipeline, 10 of which are in central London, said increasing numbers of visitors to London were coming from places other than the US, such as eastern Europe and China, which recently relaxed its visa regulations for trips to the UK.