Best Western reports international bookings boom following Brexit vote

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Best Western hotel Dean Court in York saw bookings from American guests rise 236 per cent following the Brexit vote
Best Western hotel Dean Court in York saw bookings from American guests rise 236 per cent following the Brexit vote

Related tags: United kingdom

Independent hotel group Best Western Great Britain has seen a dramatic increase in the number of bookings from guests in China and the US since the EU referendum.

One hotel - Dean Court in York - saw hotel bookings from American guests increase by 236 per cent in the week following Brexit while a hotel in Edinburgh reporting Chinese bookings up 50 per cent on the same week the previous year. 

Other destinations, such as the Lake District (up 10 per cent) and Cambridge (up 6 per cent) were early beneficiaries of international tourists looking to bag a bargain with the weakening of the pound in the days following the vote.  

Rob Payne, Best Western Great Britain chief executive said: “We know it is early days but we are seeing a double bounce to business as a result of Brexit. We’ve seen an increase in international bookings to some of our hotels in great British locations and we’re exploring this further to see how widespread these numbers are."

Earlier this week Travelzoo UK managing director Richard Singer said searches for hotels in the UK from the US and China had surged since Britain voted to leave the EU as the pound dropped, making the country cheaper for many of those outside it to visit.

Holidaying at home

The UK's hospitality market could also benefit from a rise in the number of domestic guests looking to holiday at home as destinations outside became more expensive. 

Payne told BigHospitality there had been a 'small increase of just under 5 per cent' of bookings from UK guests the week after the vote, but he expected there to be a steady number of bookings as the summer progressed. 

"We recognise with the falling value of the pound that short breaks abroad this summer might be replaced with great British weekends and so we are focussing on the great value and convenience messages to convert more British bookers to stay at home this summer," he said. 

Membership

Payne said the increase in the number of international bookings had been coupled with an increase in the number of hoteliers looking to join the Best Western consortium. 

"Best Western has recruited additional staff to its head office in York to help with the demand and interest in membership enquiries. In the month before the referendum Best Western recorded a 30% increase in membership enquiries, its highest level in recent years, and a trend that has continued since the vote," he said. 

“Owners and managers are telling us that they are worried about what the impact of Brexit will mean longer term which makes our membership model, global reach and economies of scale reassuring and attractive in these uncertain times.”

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