Since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, it would be an easy assumption to make that UK nationals might flee for their first abroad holidays since 2020. However, it seems UK hotels are leading the way in occupancy recovery for both leisure travellers and business travellers.
Hotel analyst, STR has recently reported that UK hotel occupancy is now at 90% of 2019 levels, compared with Europe, which has recovered to 78% of pre-COVID levels. Data showed there were six UK regions that made the top 10 for highest ADR growth in Europe last year:
- Bournemouth (top spot for highest growth in Europe at 169%)
- Devon and Cornwall (third at 162%)
- Plymouth (fourth at 159%)
The Lake District, Bath and East and North Yorkshire also made the top 10 and Dorset and Exeter, and Harrogate made the top 15.
Over the past year, the UK has been leading the way in Europe’s hotel recovery but was overtaken briefly by Poland in March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when hotel occupancy reached 94%. However, Polish hotel occupancy has since fallen again, leaving the UK in the top spot.
It’s been a good few months for London, too as our Capital reported its highest monthly occupancy rate since February 2020 in April. Although demand has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, London has seen a rise in business traveller's and tourists, and it seems, thanks to inflation and rising costs, budget hotel groups are enjoying a surge in demand.
Wales has also bounced back from COVID-19, with recent 2021 figures showing room occupancy hit an average of 64% over the course of last year, only just below the 66% of pre-pandemic levels, with bookings looking encouraging for the coming months.
So, what’s next for the UK’s hotel industry? With things still uncertain due to many factors, including the rising cost of living, budget hotel chains are likely to reap the rewards. However, for the luxury sector, there is the benefit of wealthy travellers from Africa and the Middle East coming over to the UK for a break from the heat in their countries.
There has undoubtedly been an increase in international travellers coming to the UK over the past few months, and that is set to continue. Demand for ‘staycations’ and business travel has also fuelled growth in Q1 and Q2, and we expect this to continue throughout 2022.
If a busy summer season is exciting but daunting, we’re here to help. Condor Hotels and Leisure Consultants are one of the UK’s leading Hotel and Hospitality Consultancy companies and we are here to offer support to existing hospitality businesses and those looking to invest in the sector.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you to streamline your operations, support your staff, provide the very best service to your guests and optimise your revenue.