High Domestic Demand Might Help UK Tourism

According to global hotel consultancy HVS, The UK hotel sector’s traditionally strong domestic leisure demand will help in its recovery after lockdown is lifted. However, the report also shows that hotels in the capital and other gateway cities will take longer to recover than those in the provinces. What does this mean for UK tourism?

Countries with high domestic demand will have an early recovery

Many hotels outside London usually generate over 50% of domestic room nights from holidaymakers. Holidays in South-west England account for 69% of domestic room nights, compared with London, where some 29% of hotel bookings come from domestic leisure bookings.

The HVS report shows that countries across Europe with high domestic demand will have a stronger recovery once lockdown measures are lifted. Domestic sources account for 60% of hotel demand in the UK. A similar proportion to France (63%) and Germany (82%). Most of this demand is through trade fairs and events, which might take longer to recover. Much of southern Europe has a lower percentage of domestic tourism, with Portugal at 34% and Italy at 50%.

Unable to go abroad, British tourists might travel in the UK

Report author 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”. 

The report also warns that UK tourists are unlikely to travel abroad this summer. This will have a big impact on countries like Spain, Portugal, France, and Iceland, mainly relying on British holidaymakers. Even so, this may help British hoteliers to secure some of this traditionally outbound demand.

“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,” added Stephen Collins.

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