Hotels - UK - October 2012
“Towards the end of August 2012, VisitScotland announced the launch of a £3 million autumn campaign (its biggest ever), targeting UK residents who had not yet taken a holiday because of the Olympics and/or the weather. This seems a particularly shrewd move, given that the economic conditions driving the staycation trend remain firmly in place and the fact that domestic holidays have been running significantly under 2011’s level. This also demonstrates the advantage hotels in non-event hosting markets can have, setting themselves up as a point of difference for consumers who do not want to participate in (for example) a Royal wedding, a Jubilee or an Olympics.”
– Tom Rees, Senior Travel and Tourism Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can hotels take advantage of parents’ responsiveness to on-site facilities?
- Is there scope for further innovation in the budget hotel market?
- What can operators do to benefit from poor weather, such as 2012’s ‘washout’ spring/summer (and possibly autumn)?
- How can operators benefit from the growing spread of better broadband?
- Is attempting to attract non-stayers to use hotel facilities worthwhile?
- How can hotels benefit from the ageing population’s impact on their user base?
2011 was a strong year for hotels, with the number of trips growing strongly on the back of more inbound visits, a return to growth in domestic tourism after 2010’s fall, and business travel in Great Britain returning to pre-recession levels (in volume terms). 2012, however, is proving a greater challenge, with the weather dampening domestic holiday/leisure usage, and the Olympics creating an uncertain occupancy picture – although, overall, London hotels appear to have profited from the opportunity to increase prices.
This report looks at the challenges and opportunities facing the market, considering business, leisure and VFR (visiting friends and relatives) stays. It examines both full-service and budget hotels, how the recession has impacted on both sectors, and forecasts the overall market for the next five years. It considers consumer trends and the performance of the regions of the UK, who the key customers are, what they look for in a hotel, and how operators can attempt to increase custom and maximise revenue.
This report examines hotels in the UK used by consumers for leisure, business and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) purposes. An adult, for the purposes of Mintel’s research, is anyone aged 16 or over.
The standard travel and tourism definitions used in the terminology of this report are as follows:
- tourism is any travel, which involves an overnight stay away from home.
- a holiday is a subjectively defined form of tourism, as defined by the tourist in response to surveys such as IPS or GBTS. A holiday can be distinguished from other leisure travel such as visits to friends and relatives (VFR) or shopping trips.
- a long holiday is a holiday of four nights or more away from home; a short break is a holiday that involves one to three nights away from home.
- short-haul refers to air holidays within Europe, dominated by flights to Mediterranean resorts but including the Canary Islands, which are treated as a part of the Spanish market. Long-haul, therefore, refers to holidays outside Europe.
- an inclusive tour, or package holiday, is defined as the simultaneous sale of at least two elements of a holiday to the traveller: fares on public transport (eg flights) and commercial accommodation (eg hotel or self-catering apartment). Other elements, such as meals or excursions, are not essential to the definition of an inclusive tour. The term ‘all-inclusive’ is used to describe a special type of resort holiday in which food, drink, excursions and other services are provided as part of the total holiday cost.
- an independent holiday is one in which the traveller organises and books transport and accommodation from separate sources (eg a Channel ferry crossing and a caravan site in France).
- seat- or flight-only is a type of independent holiday, and the terms are used to denote holidays in which travellers only purchase a return fare and thereafter book their own accommodation, car hire etc.
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