Slow recovery ahead for UK Hotels

by Emily DUNBAR on July 21, 2010

The travel sector is facing a long, slow road ahead according to UK hoteliers. A new survey from Choice Hotels Europe’s UK division has revealed that 36 per cent of hotel owners across Britain believe the pace of economic recovery within the embattled travel industry could take several years to eventuate.

The study canvassed leading general managers and hoteliers across the Choice Group, which includes over 40 properties through its Clarion, Quality and Comfort brands.

An additional 31 per cent stated that the past six months have been the most difficult they have ever faced, with the trading environment unlike anything seen before. The Choice ‘Hotelier Pulse-Check’ survey did, however, find that the same percentage had confidence that the hotel and travel industry would show signs of a recovery by this time next year. Among those surveyed, 68 per cent said that they were ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ confident that the UK economy would show signs of a turnaround over the next 12 months.

The most important business priorities for hotel owners in order to improve trading and overall performance in the coming months were to ramp up activity in the advertising and marketing sectors, with 59 per cent of those polled claiming attracting new customers was their top priority. 18 per cent said that they had invested in new facilities aimed at luring new business.

The same percentage said that enhanced staff training was a priority to ensure that the customer experience was made as best as possible in the increasingly cut throat and competitive industry.

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