24 | Hospitality Today | Summer 2018 Airbnb is not only taking market share from hotels in the UK’s biggest cities, but also from smaller establishments in other tourist hotspots across the nation. The analysis by Moore Stephens shows that Airbnb listings now represent 30% of the size of formal hotel and bed and breakfast rooms in Brighton. Moore Stephens says that its research on Airbnb is an approximation based on available sources and that the debate over Airbnb and its impact would be further enhanced if Airbnb presented its data in a more transparent way. Peter Duffy, Director at Moore Stephens, says: “Airbnb is increasingly taking market share from hotels. Hotel groups say this because Airbnb can bypass industry regulations allowing it to undercut the formal industry.” “Everyone would welcome Airbnb being more transparent. More statistics are needed so that the impact of Airbnb, positive or otherwise, can be properly debated. “Airbnb and other similar platforms can offer significant benefits to individuals, for those renting their property out and holidaymakers.” “Profit hit hard” at UK hotels as revenue falls Profit per room at hotels in the UK fell by 4.3% in May as year-on-year declines were recorded across all departments; meanwhile, owners and operators continue to face the challenge of rising costs, according to the latest (May 18) worldwide poll of full-service hotels from HotStats. In addition to a drop in Rooms Revenue (-1.2%), the -1.3% decline in Total Revenue at hotels in the UK in May was due to falling revenues in Non-Rooms departments, including Food & Beverage (-2.0%), Conference & Banqueting (-3.5%) and Leisure (-1.7%) on a per available room basis. The 1.2% decline in RevPAR in May was not only as a result of a 0.2% year-on-year drop in room occupancy, to 80.5%, but UK hotels also suffered an uncharacteristic drop in achieved average room rate, which fell by 0.9%, to £115.90. This is only the second time since October 2016 that a decline in rate has been recorded, as the ability to leverage price has been a mainstay for UK hoteliers on the back of punchy room occupancy levels. The first drop was during the debilitating weather conditions in March 2018. And whilst the commercial sector remained robust in May, declines in achieved average room rate were recorded in the Individual Leisure (-2.9%) and Group Leisure (-4.8%) segments, which was in spite of the spike in leisure-related demand generated by the two Bank Holiday weekends and a range of internationally significant events, including the Royal Wedding. The declining revenue levels were further hit by rising costs, which this month included a +0.7-percentage point increase in Payroll to 27.7% of total revenue, as well as a +0.3-percentage point increase in Overheads, which grew to 21.4% of total revenue.