Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, operator of the Peninsula luxury hotels, has felt the effects of the global economic downturn, swine flu and unrest in Thailand - all of which shaved the average yield on its nine-hotel portfolio by 29 per cent in the first quarter. Revenue per available room of its Hong Kong flagship in Tsim Sha Tsui dropped 27 per cent from a year earlier. The revenue measure at the other four Peninsula hotels in Asia - Manila, Beijing, Bangkok and Tokyo - fell 30 per cent; for the four hotels in the United States, it fell 28 per cent. The Peninsula Hong Kong recorded a 3.97 per cent drop in its average room rate to HK$3,941 per night and an 18 percentage point decline in occupancy to 57 per cent in the first quarter. The hotel suffered 'some cancellations' as a result of the swine flu outbreak, the group's chief executive, Clement Kwok King-man, said, adding that it had an 'immaterial impact' on the group. Chairman Sir Michael Kadoorie said the swine flu and renewed instability in Thailand exacerbated the difficult operating environment. 'It is clear that 2009 is posing challenges for the group, with our hotel business in particular experiencing significant downward pressure,' Sir Michael said after the group's annual general meeting yesterday. In the first three months of this year, the Peninsula Bangkok suffered the largest decline in terms of room rates, which fell 17.82 per cent to HK$1,623 per night, and had an occupancy of 54 per cent, down 26 percentage points. The Peninsula in New York felt the pinch of sluggish business activity, with room rates 13.81 per cent lower at HK$5,036 per night and occupancy down 4 percentage points to 51 per cent. Despite this, the group would go ahead with renovation plans at the Peninsula hotels in New York and Manila this year, Mr Kwok said. He added that the planned hotel in Shanghai was due for a soft opening this autumn.