According to the TripAdvisor Industry Index survey of over 2,500 UK accommodation owners, 58 per cent of respondents insist that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics will be looked back on as ‘non-events’ for the industry.
In responses to the biannual survey, one unnamed hotelier cited ‘the negative impact of the Olympics’ as this year’s worst surprise for business, while another frustrated respondent said: “The Olympics has made summer trading difficult - overseas custom is down significantly on last year.”
A third of TripAdvisor’s Industry Index respondents (35 per cent) were, however, more positive about the summer events, claiming there would be either short-term or long-term positive effects.
Generally, accommodation owners have actually become more positive during the first half of 2012 with 27 percent of respondents stating that they believe the economy will improve during the remainder of the year.
This demonstrates that UK hotel and B&B owners have become 30 percent more optimistic since TripAdvisor’s Industry Index in December 2011, when only 19 percent felt the economy would improve in 2012.
Seventy-nine per cent of respondents describe their business as profitable or very profitable in the past six months, making UK accommodations the third most profitable across Europe, behind Turkey and Germany.
One delighted respondent listed the rise in profitability as the best surprise for business in 2012, stating: “Our business has grown some 30 per cent over the past six months compared to the same six months last year.”
The profitability outlook is encouraging for the sector; compared with the same period last year, approximately one in four (26 per cent) accommodation businesses said they have increased their room rates for July and August and 23 percent plan to increase their room rates ahead of the autumn season.
TripAdvisor, which was last week cited as ‘encouraging higher spending and longer stays in the UK’, also polled UK accommodation business owners on the effect of the Euro crisis.
Overall, 87 per cent of respondents believe the Euro debt crisis will have an impact on their businesses over the next six months, with one hotelier explaining: “We rely almost entirely on guests from Germany and Holland. We have seen a noticeable drop in visitor numbers from those countries and Europe as a whole.”
Of those accommodation owners that believe their businesses will be affected, 29 percent feel that the impact will be major. Another hotelier said: “The Euro crisis has increased the cost and deterred European visitors. The uncertainty in Holland has almost wiped out all of our Dutch tourists.”
Speaking of the survey’s findings, Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for business, said: “The TripAdvisor Industry Index underscores the current global economic climate, as hoteliers in North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are all approximately twice as likely to report being profitable in the last six months than hoteliers in the EMEA region.
“This trend is also reflected in the global economic outlook; over one quarter of respondents from the EMEA region think that the economy will deteriorate, making them less optimistic than any other region.”
The latest installment of the TripAdvisor 2012 Industry Index was conducted from 7 to 14 June 2012 and was sent by email to a random sample of global accommodation owners and managers. The survey generated 25,517 responses worldwide, with 2,506 responses from UK accommodation representatives.
The full report can be downloaded here