Domestic demand across the UK hotel sector may support the sector’s recovery once lockdown measures are fully lifted, according to a recent report from HVS.
Nonetheless, the consulting firm warned that hotels in London and other major cities may take longer to recover due to their “heavier” reliance on international tourists and corporate bookings.
Provincial hotels that attract domestic demand will reportedly see a faster recovery, however, with most sites outside London generating more than 50% of domestic room nights from guests, according to the report.
HVS found that domestic stays in the Southwest of England account for 69% of room nights, while this figure falls to 29% in London, for example.
Nonetheless, the report warned that the lack of UK tourists travelling abroad this summer may negatively impact the hotel sectors in Spain, Portugal and France, among others, where there is typically a “heavy reliance” on British holidaymakers.
However, HVS noted that this may “present an opportunity for strategically minded and fast-acting British hoteliers to capture at least some of this traditionally outbound demand”.
Stephen Collins, an associate director with HVS London, said: “One impact of lockdown is that British tourists will be keen to travel and, unable to go abroad, are likely to book holidays in the UK once it’s deemed safe to do so.
“This could prove a silver lining for UK hoteliers, holiday operators and campsites. This will help support domestic demand in the short to medium term, smoothing the recovery curve and allowing hotels to stay in business until the pandemic is brought under control and international demand begins to return.”
He added: “We are cautiously optimistic about the UK hotel industry’s ability to recover at a reasonable pace compared with the rest of Europe, and to focus on domestic tourism until international demand returns.
“But it will not be smooth sailing and there could be casualties, particularly in areas reliant on international, corporate and MICE demand.”