Hotel industry confidence ‘low’ despite increased bookings

Confidence in future bookings and revenue is the lowest it has been since September 2016, according to a UKinbound-backed survey.

The latest Business Barometer members survey, compiled by Qa Research in conjunction with UKinbound, suggests that hoteliers confidence is low in spite of the same survey showing that bookings, visitor numbers and revenue yield are on-par or higher than 12 months ago.

Just 53% of respondents showed confidence in future bookings, compared to 67% in September 2016.

Higher costs of food and beverage, the dampening effect terrorist attacks and strong competition were some of the reasons cited by those who saw a decrease in bookings and visitor numbers.

Relating to the months of July and August this year, 81% of respondents stated that revenue yield had either increased or stayed the same compared to 2016.

Comparatively, 72% of respondents experienced bookings and visitor numbers that were similar or higher than July and August last year. When analysing data from tour operator partners this figure increased to 75%.

The survey also showed that China and USA remain the top growth markets, while Germany replaced France as the main declining market.

Members stated that the weakness of the pound was the main reason behind the growth.

UKinbound, chief executive officer, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: “It’s encouraging to hear from members that July and August were positive months with regards to visitor numbers, bookings and revenue. However I am concerned that confidence is low amongst our members about future business.

“We need continued investment in tourism, a strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination, an immigration and visa system that’s flexible to business needs and access to a skilled workforce.

“These issues need to be addressed to ensure that our members’ businesses remain successful and we will continue to work with government to ensure they are raised and addressed at all levels.”

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