Alarming news items, such as the recent floods in Cumbria, may have raised concerns about UK hotel occupancy, but it seems the outlook is generally positive for the UK's hospitality industry in 2016. Respected sources such as PWC have predicted growth, albeit not huge growth, for the year ahead. The year-on-year forecast for room occupancy growth was forecast to be 1.6% in 2015 but only 0.6% in 2016. This means 2015 occupancy was 76% and rose to 77% in 2016, if growth continues as predicted. However, the hospitality industry is vulnerable to external pressure such as geopolitical events. It's unclear what events may arise that could impact on the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors over the next 12 months. Continue reading
Holiday review site TripAdvisor has surveyed over 6,200 European travellers to forecast tourism trends for 2011. The annual Travel Trends Survey, which included 902 Brits, suggests it will be a more positive year for the industry. Spokesperson Emma O'Boyle said: "Overall, 2011 looks more positive for both travellers and the travel industry. Britons intend to travel more often and will spend more money doing so, but will proceed with caution." 66 per cent of Brits are planning a long-haul holiday in 2011, with a third of respondents predicting they would spend more this year than last. Continue reading
The Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) claims tourist information offices in the country could soon be replaced by online resources, reports the BBC. Rural county Powys has already reduced the number of offices from 14 to one; now Monmouthshire doubts the future of its information centres, which use up half the annual tourism budget. Although visitor numbers to the centres have dropped, tourist numbers in general have not. Continue reading
A tourist attraction
Research from Visit Britain has revealed that the UK tourism industry will benefit immensely from the marriage of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton in early 2011. The royal wedding will not only see sales of replica rings and dresses, commemorative plates and other souvenirs skyrocket, but will benefit hotels and restaurants across the UK too, as well as related trades such as hotel suppliers and travel operators.
Events and places associated with the monarchy already draw around £500 million in annual revenue for tourism, but like the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981, the upcoming ceremony is set to increase interest in the Royal Family as well as see an influx of tourists wanting to join the festivities. Continue reading
Innovation in the tourism industry
Travel industry analysts Euromonitor International have unveiled the Global Trends Report for 2011. The report forecasts holiday trends, including innovations and shifting desires; it could therefore be very useful to hoteliers and industries relying on tourism across the world.
Africa is predicted to take its first steps into space tourism, with South Africa leading the way. Some hotels already provide astronomy courses and in-room telescopes, while a project to build a space port is on the horizon. Asia is about to see a boom in 'scent tourism', like aromatherapy on a grand scale. Continue reading
Celebrities descend on Abu Dhabi
The United Arab Emirates has long been known as a millionaire's playground, but this month it was overrun with racing fans and celebrities. The Grand Prix, the finale of 2010's Formula 1 contest, took place at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina race circuit on November 14th. German driver Sebastian Vettel claimed first place, with British McLaren-Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button coming in second and third respectively. Hamilton told the BBC: "It's not been the most spectacular season for us, but we ended it on really quite a high". Continue reading
Bristol Airport's ambitious plans for expansion were approved in May, but this month the airport announced that it would also be building a huge hotel just 100m from the terminal building. People in the area are particularly excited about the 140 hotel jobs this will create within easy reach of the city. Bristol Airport is the ninth largest in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, but is currently the only one in the top 15 that does not have its own hotel on site. The new complex will have over 250 rooms, allowing passengers to get a good night's sleep before or after their flight. This will also be more convenient for travellers who need to use public transport, which is not available at all times of the day. Continue reading
Public’s desire for budget treats unharmed by economic slump
UK catering and hospitality company Whitbread has revealed welcome news: their profit has increased to a level higher than before the recession. In the six-month period up to mid-August, they experienced "strong like-for-like sales growth across its businesses," according to the Financial Times.
However, the Whitbread brand family, which includes Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurants, had to be very proactive in an attempt to curb their losses. Continue reading
Every year, over 100,000 visitors flock to the Great Central Railway line, it has been claimed.
Indeed, holiday accommodation owners may wish to take advantage of the site's popularity by stocking up on hotel supplies, after Martin Peters, chief executive of Leicester Shire Promotions, said the line was a "major" tourist attraction.
He was commenting after a press briefing given by Mr Peters, Sir Peter Soulsby, MP for Leicester South, Richard Tilden Smith, director of Great Central Railway, and Tom Ingal, reporter at BBC and director of Great Central Railway on plans to develop the line. Continue reading
Travelling by train is an enjoyable way to explore what the UK has to offer, as it is relaxing and also less damaging to the environment than journeying by car, one sector commentator has claimed.
Indeed, Britons could choose to travel across the country by rail this summer, stopping off at bed and breakfasts en route to get some sleep on a bed of wholesale bedding, before heading off bright and early the next day.
Richard Adams, marketing manager at Great Rail Journeys, said that using trains can mean that the journey itself is a key part of the holiday experience. Continue reading