Members of the Hotels and Restaurants Association are reporting increased sales in January 2014, compared to the same trading period last year. For many January is a month of penny pinching but local hotels are seeing a different trend. Establishments including the Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel; the Sidholme Hotel, Sidmouth; Combe House, Honiton and the Best Western Tiverton Hotel have reported positive figures in January with sales up as much as 20% for individual hotels. Other members including Rendezvous Wine Bar are reporting increased sales too, with an increase of over 30% in takings compared to January 2013. Jemma Mitchell owner of Rendezvous is pleased with January's trade saying, "This January has been much better than last year, in spite of all the rain! We are over 30% up on last January, which is a really encouraging result for the start of the year. There seems to be more confidence in general and people are trading up to more expensive wines and dishes, rather than counting their pennies at every turn."Rhys Roberts, director at the Best Western Hotel in Tiverton is happy with the hotel's performance so far this year too saying, "January 2014 has been great. Overall sales are up over 20% year on year and room occupancy up over 11%. We have benefited from an increase in corporate business this year and there is a stronger demand for our conference and meeting rooms. Looking further ahead over the next two months, business is also looking positive when compared to the same period last year."James Sharp, general manager at the Sidholme Hotel in Sidmouth and chairman of the Devon Hotels and Restaurants Association has an optimistic outlook on the year ahead saying, "It is great to see so many of the hotels and restaurants having such a great start to 2014. Here at the Sidholme Hotel we have seen an increase of almost 9% on last year which is great for January."