Home Insights & Advice Changing fortunes for London’s hotels

Changing fortunes for London’s hotels

by John Saunders
20th Sep 21 2:38 pm

London’s hospitality industry was one of the industries hardest hit by the Covid pandemic, and there are plenty of signs that things aren’t going to get better anytime fast. With growing numbers of tourists opting to avoid urban destinations, it seems that London is slipping down the list of the most desirable holiday destinations.

All of this is coming at a time when the UK is waking up to the harsh realities of its post-Brexit life. This has had a knock-on effect to hotel businesses in London which have had shortages on everything from staff to bed linen. Thankfully there are signs of optimism that a certain kind of boutique hotel could have what it takes to bring tourists back to our nation’s capital. So what does the future hold for London’s hotels?

The shift from the city to the country

Given that the UK is in the midst of a pandemic, it might not be surprising to find that people are seeking to holiday in less busy areas. The staycation boom of 2021 may have benefited coastal and rural areas such as Cornwall and the Lake District, but it has yet to have had any positive impact in London.

It is thought that only 5% of people in the UK who wanted a staycation holiday favoured a city break, and this is despite many sites like www.erfahrungen.com allowing them quick and easy ways to compare prices for hotels in London and beyond. Even if people did fancy a city break, it would be the smaller cities such as Bath and Oxford that benefitted rather than our nation’s capital.

This has been coupled up with a dramatic decrease in footfall from international tourists as a result of travel bans and confusing information about quarantine periods. As such, many London hotels have been hit with cancellation rates of above 50%. Plus with case numbers across the country still on the rise, the future is looking anything but bright for London’s hotels.

Is Brexit also to blame?

It’s looking like something of a perfect storm for the hotel trade in London. As well as battling with the effects of the pandemic, there are growing signs that Brexit is hampering many hotels’ abilities to function properly.

A recent report stated that shortages in both bed linen and staff have meant that hotels across the UK have had to roll back their services. This couldn’t have come at a worse time as the UK this summer was experiencing a massive wave of domestic tourism, and hotels simply couldn’t handle the demand.

There was also a knock-on effect in many other ancillary industries with laundries reportedly having difficulties in cleaning the massive number of towels and linen required for hotels across the nation.

While there were reports that some hotels had to make do with limiting the number of daily linen changes, it is clear that this was a drastic short-term solution. Unfortunately with ongoing logistical issues and problems with the supply chain, it looks like things are going to continue to be tough for hotels across the UK.

A rise of boutique hotels

Thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom for London’s hotel industry. The current crisis has given many in the trade the incentive required to rethink how the whole industry operates. The trend for big hotel brands owning boutique hotels is just one example of this and it illustrates why bigger might not necessarily be better in the new look world. All of which shows that with some creativity, things might not necessarily be so bleak for London’s hotels.

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