Report: Strong Growth to Continue for UK Tourism

London Tower BridgeThings are looking good for the UK tourism industry. In the wake of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, the UK’s tourism figures continue to look buoyant. Although there is some threat of a so-called hangover effect in the coming year, which could have a negative impact on tourist arrivals figures and the accommodation industry, as numbers see a small slump following the 2012 highs, overall, Fast Market Research/Business Monitor International (BMI) believe the UK tourism industry will continue to see relatively strong growth.

The UK is also due to host two major international sporting events over the coming years, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2015 Rugby World Cup (at various locations around the nation). These events are likely to result in large numbers of participants and spectators travelling to the United Kingdom.

An overview of the UK’s top 10 tourism markets highlights the fact that Europe remains the UK’s main source of tourism, despite the continuing economic uncertainty. Eight out of the top 10 markets are European, and we forecast that European tourist arrivals will amount to around22.5mn in 2013.

After a period of significant infrastructure development and hotel-building activity in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, the scene may now be set for more modest overall growth in the UK’s hotel industry.

However, some hotel groups are continuing significant expansion plans:

  • The UK’s largest hotel chain Premier Inn, owned by Whitbread, is targeting an additional 15,000 rooms between now and 2016. This will underline Premier Inn’s position as the largest hotel chain in the UK.
  • Fellow national chain Travelodge is also making aggressive expansion plans, aiming to double the number of rooms it has in the UK to 70,000 over the next 10 years.
  • Luxury chain Shangri-la is also opening its first London property in 2013 The 195-room (including 25 suites) Shangri-La London will be located within London’s tallest building, The Shard.
  • Accor, opened its fourth IBIS Style hotel in London in January and announced plans to increase the overall number of hotels in the UK to 300 by 2015 (it currently has just under 200).
  • On the 28th of March, Intercontinental Hotels Group sold its flagship Park Lane Hotel in London for US$477mn to Constellation Hotels.
  • Marriott recently opened two new hotels, one in Aberdeen Airport, and one in London.
  • In March 2013, Starwood announced it is planning on opening 50 new hotels in Europe, including a number in the UK.
  • This quarter we are forecasting total hotel receipts to rise by 6.2% over 2013, reaching US$45.6bn.
  • We are forecasting the 2013 value of the hotels industry to reach around US$15bn
  • We forecast the number of hotels will see a 1.48% increase over 2013 to 33,600.
  • This quarter, BMI has given the United Kingdom an overall Tourism Industry Risk/Reward rating of 64.5, placing it in second position, behind Switzerland and ahead of Austria.

Click here to obtain the full report.

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