The Latest UK Travel Trends22nd October 2018
The end of 2018 is getting nearer; our Hotel Asset Management Company is confident that 2019 will see a steady continuation of some of the trends we have seen lately.
While for many hoteliers there will be optimism as the weak pound continues to support inbound leisure travel, recent Brexit negotiations will have many hospitality experts wondering – what next? In our latest blog we will discuss the positives and negatives of the trends we expect to see for the remainder of 2018 and into next year.
Economic growth is expected to continue; this is a vital part of travel and tourism as it underpins travel growth and has a direct relation to demand for accommodation. With London set to add more than 11,000 hotel rooms by 2020, this is a positive sign given that this is in addition to the 38,000 rooms already created in the last five years. This influx of new rooms will see the capital be ahead of major European cities including Paris and Milan, and should occupancy reflect demand this can only be a good thing for hotels.
According to the PWC, 41.7m visits were predicted to head to the UK in 2018 and recent studies have shown that overseas visits to the UK have steadily grown since 2012. With record numbers of visitors coming to the UK, it is worth noting that both American and Chinese tourists are leading the way. Thanks to the weak pound and Brexit we could see a decline in business travel from these markets as there are mixed trends on the horizon. However, should they lean more towards a decline, hoteliers do not need to worry as there is the promise of an increase in spend thanks to the aforementioned American and Chinese leisure tourism market.
Given the position of the pound sterling to the dollar, American travellers visiting the UK are able to get more for their money so almost 6 out of 10 American holiday visitors are making a repeat visit. Chinese tourists cite affordability, brands, and the frequency of direct flights as an influence for their decision to head to the UK so the growth of Chinese tourism shows no signs of slowing down; overall, Chinese arrivals were up 29%, with Chinese visitor spend increasing by 35% in 2018 which can only be a positive indicator for economic growth in 2019.
Staycations are a trend that have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years. According to figures from Visit Britain, 47 million domestic holidays were taken in Britain in 2017 and hoteliers are capitalising on this with offers that entice local and regional markets. With consumer income suffering in recent times, and with the uncertainty that comes with Brexit, many guest’s disposable spend is strained meaning that while staycations are popular, domestic short breaks may not see strong growth into 2019. Despite this, this popular market allows local business and hotels to thrive as they can capture British holiday goers who prefer to spend their holiday money in the country on quality stays and services, rather than opting for package holidays abroad that may not be as convenient and would reflect the low worth of the pound abroad.
“As most major markets seem to be trending in the right direction, it is reassuring to see that London continues to operate at a globally high level. It is worth noting that downside risks are still prevalent for the global economy for many reasons – Brexit uncertainty included. While forecasts can be a strong indicator of what is to come, we advise hoteliers to have a strong asset management company around them to ensure that whatever direction the market takes, they have professional advice and guidance at every step. Trends come and go, but sound advice and experience are the foundation of a successful partnership when it comes to Hotel Asset Management.”
– Krupesh Patel, Head of Advisory