Big freeze could cost UK hotels £4m+

Best Western Great Britain estimates that last week’s heavy snowfalls across the UK cost its member properties almost £90,000 in lost bookings revenue.

The hotel brand, which represents more than 250 independently owned and managed properties, further calculated that the overall cost of the bad weather to the UK hotel industry could be more than £4 million.

Andrew Denton, communications director at Best Western Great Britain, said: “It’s been an unpredictable and pretty devastating week for the industry as the weather has impacted most of Britain this time, rather than being concentrated in one area.”

He said that staff at the hotels had been helping guests and their communities during the snow-affected days, following the Beast from the East and Storm Emma.

“Best Western Moffat House Hotel in Scotland helped Radio 1 DJ Greg James and his team this week, as their Sport Relief challenge came to an end and they were snowed in due to the weather,” he said.

“Our team at Best Western Tiverton Hall Hotel in Devon have also been working hard to support staff, guests and members of the community who are stuck as the local area has come to a complete standstill. We have helped visitors from Australia find places to stay after they have been stranded due to travel cancellations.

“The cost of the cancellations is secondary to the safety of our staff and guests but it goes to show what impact extreme weather can have, particularly on small and medium sized independent businesses which find it harder to absorb losses like these.”

The BBC reported that the UK economy as a whole will be affected by the snowstorms, and the impact could halve the 0.4% GDP growth many economists had forecast for the first three months of 2018.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said many high streets look like ghost towns over the past week, and estimated that the financial cost of severe weather events on small firms averages about £7,000 for each affected business.

Pictured: Beamish Hall Hotel, Best Western Premier Collection.