London hotels ‘escaped’ impact of Westminster attack

Last month’s terrorist attack in Westminster led to no discernible decline in occupancy at London’s hotels, according to hospitality industry analyst STR.

The attack on March 22 left five people dead and a sixth victim has subsequently died.

But STR reported London’s occupancy levels remained “in line with typical March performance patterns” over the days to March 28.

Preliminary data also suggest that “the market recorded significant year-over-year growth in both occupancy and average daily rate (ADR)” following the event.

STR reported a near 23% increase in average daily rate to £147.32 on March 25 compared with the same day last year.

It contrasted this apparent lack of disruption to that following the Bastille Day attack in Nice in July 2016, in which 85 people died, and the Christmas market attack in Berlin in December which left 12 dead.

Within four days of the Bastille Day attack, STR reported that daily hotel occupancy in Nice dropped from 94.6% to 72.8%, and Berlin also suffered a decline, although less severe.

Thomas Emanuel, STR director of business development, said: “We’re seeing now that the way a hotel market reacts to an attack really does depend on the severity.

“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.”

Picture: Big Ben Tower and the Houses of Parliament seen through the London Eye. VisitBritain/David Angel