Overseas visitors boost UK hoteliers

Expedia Group has reported “a significant rise in demand” for UK hotels from international visitors, fuelled by several fast-growing markets.

Figures for the first quarter of 2018 show that bookings made by international travellers increased year-on-year, and London was the most popular destination in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa region).

Several major cities experienced double-digit growth including Birmingham and Bristol, both 15% up year-on-year, while Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow were more than 10% up.

Top-performing regions included Yorkshire, East Anglia, Essex and the south west, and demand in Scotland increased too.

For the UK as a whole, hoteliers saw growth from overseas travellers, with demand buoyant from traditionally strong visitor markets such as the US – up by 55% year-on-year – while Germany and Australia rose by about 45%.

Demand was further fuelled by visitors from other fast-growing markets such as Spain, Argentina, Ireland and Mexico, which all featured triple-digit year-on-year increases.

Furthermore, there was notable growth in bookings from Far East countries such as China, Korea and Hong Kong.

Package demand to the UK has also grown strongly, which helped push up average daily rates (ADR) for these types of bookings (a combination of hotel, and/or flight and/or car hire).

Irene Roberts (pictured), director of market management, UK & Ireland, lodging partner services, said: “Our first-quarter data for 2018 show what an encouraging start to the year our hotel partners across the UK have enjoyed.

“Our proposition of providing them with a global reach through our investment in technology and marketing is helping capture those valuable international visitors and driving conversions.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see strong growth in demand across many areas of the country and with the approaching UK summertime popular with international guests, hotels should hopefully enjoy some busy months ahead.”