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LONDON- New research from Jones Lang LaSalle highlights the strength of the major UK regional markets. The consultants compared performance to the end of 2002 in 23 cities across Europe and found only seven that showed growth in room yield. These included Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Trading growth in UK cities in 2002 partly reflected a recovery from the foot & mouth epidemic which decimated tourism during 2001, and JLL says it has been supported by the boom in budget airlines, with strong growth in arrivals at regional airports counterbalancing the slowdown in global passenger movements.

Birmingham led the field, with over 5% growth in room yield to nearly €90. Birmingham was also the hot spot for the UK hotel property market in 2002. The largest single-asset sale in regional UK involved the Hyatt Regency Birmingham, followed by the Crowne Plaza Birmingham.

Mark Wynne-Smith, Managing Director Europe, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels said: “These two transactions underpin the future of Birmingham as an established hotel investment market. Investors were attracted by the development of Birmingham as a destination. They are expecting both the corporate and leisure segments to grow in the medium term but are heartened by the resilience of the trading market when compared to gateway cities such as London”.

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