London hotel bookings surpass pre-Covid levels in tourism revival

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

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

It will come as a huge relief to London’s hospitality sector and raise hopes for a bumper summer season boosted by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It comes after two years when London hotels were largely empty during successive lockdowns, travel bans and Covid testing rules.

Since early April, booking levels have remained solidly around the 100% mark, except for a dip to 90s lows during Easter week.

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

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

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