Independent hotels in coastal areas see greatest number of room closures

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Hotels, Motel

In the last decade the greatest number of independent hotel closures were in coastal resorts while the London boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea saw the largest number of branded hotel closures
In the last decade the greatest number of independent hotel closures were in coastal resorts while the London boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea saw the largest number of branded hotel closures
A new report has shown that almost 40,000 hotel rooms in the UK closed over the last decade with independent hotels in coastal areas most affected.

Cornwall, Blackpool, Torbay, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight saw the largest number of independent hotel closures (6,524) while the London boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea saw the greatest percentage of closures within the branded sector (3,277). 

In all, 39,174 hotels rooms in 2,139 hotels closed in the UK in the last decade, leaving 730,000 hotel rooms in operation, of which 103,612 were new openings during the ssme period. 

Of those, 43.5 per cent are part of hotel chains while 4.7 per cent are members of a consortium. Independent hotels still hold the largest share of the market (51. 8 per cent) but are being hit particularly hard by the growth of the branded budget sector which has grown 10 per cent since 2003 to comprise 17.8 per cent of total service accommodation. 

The report’s author Melvin Gold, a hotel industry consultant, said the fact that more hotel rooms opened than closed was positive for the whole sector. He also believes the results do not spell the end of the independent hotel, but said he did envisage the majority of them being branded within the next 10 years. 

Rapid change

He said: “The hotel industry in the British Isles is rapidly changing and it is very exciting to be part of such a dynamic sector that is adapting to its future.

“The transition of the UK hotel industry that is in progress is further evidenced by our research. 

“We have found hotels changing use to residential accommodation, care homes, and student accommodation or being demolished to facilitate new development. 

“It is important to note that it does not herald the end of the independent hotel, provided they are well-invested and market focused. I still expect them to comprise up to 40 per cent of the future UK hotel market, but the majority of UK hotels will be branded within the next decade.”

Gold said the changes reflected the 'requirements of the 21st Century consumer' and would also create increasing employment employment opportunities as the supply-base moved towards larger, branded hotels.

"Even taking account of closures I expect continued growth and the UK hotel industry to have more than 850,000 rooms by 2030," he said. 

Melvin Gold will be part of the ‘Planning’ panel at the Annual Hotel Conference​ in Manchester on 16 and 17 October 2013 discussing allowing bedstock to exit the market. 

BigHospitality also hosted a round table debate on behalf of NatWest last month looking at independent versus branded hotels​ with a transcript of the debate to be distributed at the AHC and going live on our site next week. 

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