London hotel bookings exceed pre-Covid levels in tourism boost

·1-min read
Hotel figures raise hopes of a bumper summer season (Getty Images)
Hotel figures raise hopes of a bumper summer season (Getty Images)

London hotel bookings have passed pre-Covid levels for the first time since the start of the pandemic in a major boost to the tourism sector, figures have revealed.

Reservations in the first week of this month were 102.4 per cent of the equivalent period in 2019, according to data from the World Hotel Index.

This will come as a huge relief to London’s hotel sector and raise hopes of a bumper summer season boosted by the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations. It comes after two years when London’s hotels stood largely empty during successive lockdowns, travel bans and Covid testing rules.

Since early April levels of reservations have stayed solidly around the 100 per cent mark apart from a dip to the low 90s during Easter week.

The index, compiled by hotel software company SiteMinder, suggests London’s hotel sector is recovering more quickly than in other major European cities. In the same week bookings in Paris were 96.7 per cent of pre-Covid levels, with Berlin on 99.4 per cent, Amsterdam 82.2 per cent and Rome just 63.8 per cent.

The recovery is being driven by a boom in domestic tourism and also a strong recovery in the number of foreign visitors. SiteMinder’s James Bishop called the new figures “a milestone London should celebrate”.

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