40% rise in UK hotel room openings in H1

The first six months of 2017 has seen the highest number of hotel bedrooms opening in the UK since 2012 according to the Hotel Bulletin Q2 2017.

The report, published this week by HVS, AlixPartners, STR and AM:PM, shows growth in hotel RevPAR [rooms revenue per available room] in all but two UK cities.

It also reported double digit growth in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, with London recording an 8% uplift suggesting that the weak pound and high profile events were attracting international visitors.

The hotel sector is expected to see further growth in visitor numbers with over 7,500 new hotel bedrooms opening during the first half of 2017, up 40% on last year’s figures.

Budget brand Premier Inn continued its expansion during Q2, with two new hotels opening as well as the group’s fifth hub by Premier Inn at London’s King’s Cross.

However, Q2 also saw notable activity from independently branded hotels, delivering an alternative to the more traditional hotel offer.

Russell Kett, HVS London chairman, said: “Whilst there will always be a strong demand for branded hotels, we are certainly seeing a growing appetite amongst hotel guests, primarily those in London, for something a little different.

“Boutique hotels in quirky buildings with a strong stamp of personality and an more unusual proposition are becoming very fashionable amongst discerning customers.”

He added: “A recognised brand name is less important in London as it’s a strong market. The new, independent hotels emerging like the Hoxton benefit from their association with Soho House for their restaurants and bars; and The Ned benefits from its co-ownership by Soho House.

“This activity confirms that London is still a magnet for high-end global hotel brands and demonstrates that the hotel sector is adapting to customer demand and the need to stay ahead of the game by offering something on-trend and edgy.”

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