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Rising number of Asian tourists driving UK hotel boom

By Michelle Perrett , 16-Feb-2016
Last updated on 16-Feb-2016 at 16:01 GMT2016-02-16T16:01:31Z

Thinkstock/ Ingram Publishing
Thinkstock/ Ingram Publishing

International demand for UK hotels was largely driven by Asia between October and December 2015, new data from Expedia Group has revealed.

The group, which sources hotel supply, said demand from six Asian countries in particular– Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand – has more than doubled compared to the same period in 2014.

The latest figures for the fourth quarter of 2015 showed that visitors from Malaysia led the growth, with UK stays up nearly 230 per cent. Increased demand from Thailand (up almost 180 per cent) and Japan (up more than 155 per cent) also fuelled hotel demand.

Hotel bookings from the USA increased by 20 per cent, with visitors paying £150 per room and choosing to book for an average 37-days. New Zealand holidaymakers booked their stay about three months ahead of travel with overall reservations up 90 per cent.

Expedia’s data showed that international travellers from the US, Norway, Sweden and Germany were the most likely to book hotel accommodation in the UK.

In the UK, Aberdeen saw the strongest growth, with bookings up almost 70 per cent compared to the same period in  2014. Edinburgh and Glasgow saw growth up nearly 30 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

Expedia suggested that the impact of the Rugby World Cup also helped boost trade in the regions with host cities, such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne (up more than 50 per cent), Exeter (up 40 per cent) and Gloucester (up almost 60 per cent).

Isabelle Pinson, senior director of market management for the UK & Ireland, at the Expedia Group said the growth from Asia was 'phenomenal'.

“Following a successful summer, Scotland has enjoyed a great 2015. We’re no longer just seeing demand for popular cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh, but Aberdeen too. It’s hugely encouraging to see increased demand for emerging destinations within the UK.”