Though the country’s economy is beginning to recover, the recent British trend for staycations is here to stay, with many choosing to holiday in the UK rather than spend more money to travel overseas. This is good news for the UK’s hospitality industry and hotels, which saw great growth throughout April and the Easter weekend.
Barclays’ independently commissioned research shows that domestic tourist expenditure is forecast to grow by 25 per cent over the next four years, which will make it more that £108bn by 2017.
Restaurant and pubs are expected to benefit the most from the domestic tourist spending, seeing a £37bn increase in spend by 2017. Hotels and B&Bs will see a £17bn increase in the same time period.
Although the UK as a whole will profit from the growth in spend, London will see the biggest benefit with 16 per cent of the domestic tourism spend going to the nation’s capital.
Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays Mike Saul said: “The economy is improving and confidence is certainly growing, and while this will lead to a gradual rise in the number of consumers looking to holiday abroad again, it is unlikely to precipitate a return to the holidaying habits we were seeing prior to the downturn.
“With domestic tourism set to be big business for the UK’s hospitality and retail sectors, those with a clearly targeted strategy are set to benefit. It is key that operators understand their customer base and crucially how to communicate with them via the channels their clients prefer to use, be it through social media, print advertising, television or radio. Online channels continue to present a huge opportunity to drive sales and the increasing popularity of search engines and review websites suggests that time and effort would be well spent monitoring and responding to any reviews of their business.”
With London topping the domestic spend chart, the British Hospitality Association (BHA) believes the surge in spending is due to the Olympic legacy, where the games showed the British hospitality industry in its best light.
Chief executive of the BHA Ufi Ibrahim said: “The Olympic legacy lives on and these predictions show us that in spite of the recession of the previous years, the hospitality and tourism industry has beaten all the odds and goes from strength to strength. Ours is a UK-wide people driven industry, but since 10 per cent of Londoners work in hospitality tourism it’s reassuring that the capital is predicted to see an astonishing spending surge from domestic tourists.
“Our priority over the coming months should be to capitalise on the feel good factor, spreading the positivity across the UK regions. The Barclays survey proves that our industry has the talent, capability and incentive to weather the storm and create a strong and vibrant future for the UK.”