Bookings boost for Yarmouth hotels

MANY hotels across Norfolk have mirrored the national trend for a boost in room bookings this autumn.

Official figures released by accountants and business advisers PKF show that across the UK regions, many hotels saw improved occupancy in September – an increase which has also lifted some of the year-on-year figures out of the doldrums.

“It seems that September gave a real end-of-season boost to our hotels,” said Michael Muskett, senior partner for PKF in East Anglia. “It was not just the leisure industry that benefited; some Norfolk hotels saw an increase in business trade.

“With Christmas just around the corner, many will get another helping hand from festive functions and parties. But there is no doubt that customers are shopping around for good deals or special offers.”

Mr Muskett added: “There is still money to spend but people are more careful, whether in leisure or work.”

The PKF figures showed that average hotel room occupancy in the Norwich area up 3.7pc to 79.8pc with rooms yield up 2.2pc, on the same time last year, to �51.15. The average daily room rate was down 1.4pc to �64.10.

Paul Garrod, at the Furzedown Hotel, on North Drive, Great Yarmouth, said: “September has given us a boost but nothing too dramatic as we are mainly corporate.

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“The planned closure of Yarmouth heliport next May could hit business but we haven’t given up hope of a replacement yet. And with trade from the offshore windfarm developments, Yarmouth could be in for a mini-boom.”

At the nearby Imperial Hotel in Yarmouth, Nick Mobbs agreed that it had been a good September, boosted by the national bowls competition at the resort, Yarmouth Races Eastern Festival and the usual good holiday bookings.

“October and November have also been good, steady months and the only cloud on the horizon is the closure of the heliport which is bound to affect trade,” he added.