Cautious optimism for the hospitality industry

Martha Elwell Martha Elwell Uploaded 29 January 2018

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UK: A new report paints a cautiously optimistic picture for the hotel industry to 2020

A new hotel confidence report from NFU Mutual and BHA paints a cautiously optimistic picture for the hotel industry to 2020.

81% of hotel businesses sampled expected to maintain or increase investment levels to mid-2020. Additionally, around a fifth of consumers plan to increase their number of hotel stays in 2018 (24%).

The report is based on the views of over 2,000 general consumers and 141 businesses in the hotel, hotel supply and hospitality industries.

Darren Seward, hospitality sector specialist at NFU Mutual, said: "For the hospitality industry as a whole, 2017 was a turbulent year and concern about political and economic instability as a result of Brexit negotiations will come as no surprise to most. Despite these challenges though, our research shows that the picture within the hotel industry is striking a more positive note; an optimism shared by consumers."
 
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: "The hospitality industry has a hard fight ahead. As Brexit deadlines fast approach with no deals on trade or immigration in sight, there remains a great deal of uncertainty for the industry. Nevertheless, we are determined and resilient. The hospitality and tourism industry contributes £141bn to the UK economy each year and employs more than 3.6m people. We are the fastest growing sector since the 2008 downturn and have become the fourth biggest industry in the UK as a whole. As this report demonstrates, our sector is expected to continue growing in spite of punishing commercial conditions."

Points of focus for hotel investment include property refurbishment and expansion (69%); technology (53%), including customer data for marketing and personalisation, mobile solutions and superfast broadband; marketing (53%) and staff training (47%).

The report also revealed generational consumer trends. Almost half (48%) of 18-24 year olds said that payment and data security was an important consideration when choosing a hotel to stay at, compared with 37% overall. 59% of people have never considered how their data is stored by hotels.
 
Just under three quarters of all consumers would be impressed if a hotel made clear that it supports local suppliers (72%), and 40% of those would be more likely to visit as a result.

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