(Bloomberg) — Jitters about everything from the risk of terrorism to Britain’s membership of the European Union are battering London luxury hotels as the world’s wealthiest travelers stay away.
The city’s priciest hotels were only 65 percent occupied in the three months through March, according to data provider STR. That was the lowest for a first quarter since a global recession roiled the market in 2009 and down from 70 percent a year earlier. London’s top hotels include the Savoy and the recently reopened Lanesborough, where the Royal Suite with a complementary chauffeured Rolls-Royce costs about 25,000 pounds ($36,000) per night.
While demand for cheaper accommodation is falling too, luxury hotels are hardest hit because wealthy travelers and corporate clients are proving more sensitive to the political turmoil. The terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris, the risk that the U.K. may vote to leave the EU and an economic slump in Russia have all contributed to the market’s deterioration, along with the uncertain outcome of the U.S. election.