Hotels specialists at Colliers International believe the go-ahead for Hinkley Point C could switch an already buoyant market into overdrive.
Hotels director for the firm, Simon Wells, said a training programme with decommissioning teams working on the old reactor has been a significant driver of bed nights for the local economy.
“The announcement that Hinkley C will finally go-ahead,” he said, “will provide a further shot in the arm for owners and operators around the Hinkley development, and the ripple effect will reach those on the edge of the catchment area.
“Visitors and business travellers used to staying in hotels and B&Bs closer to the development may well find themselves pushed further out, which could boost hotel occupancy quite some distance away – such as the new hotels near Bristol Airport.”
The announcement coincides with a sharp upturn in hospitality spending in August which saw hotels, restaurants and pubs benefit as consumer spending hit a 13-month high.
The question of whether or not the power station was going to be approved was “central to every operator’s business plan”, and the deciding factor in “whether or not they should make their move”.
Wells added: “Hinkley C will create a host of micro climates within the local hospitality sector. In the first instance we believe investors will be looking for quality accommodation – such as hotels and other large properties currently on the market, rather than paying years of hotel bills.
“Thousands of workers involved in Hinkley C will be requiring temporary, mid and long term accommodation, and the wider hotel and hospitality sector will be in the front line in terms of meeting this demand.”