April 21, 2017

UK independent hotels are fighting back

With 40,000 rooms disappearing in the UK over the past decade, the future looks difficult with the big-brand chains set to gain a market majority for the first time.

Nearly two-thirds of hotel openings in the provinces last year were in the budget sector, according to estate agency group Knight Frank. In London, approximately half of new hotels were deemed to be budget properties.

This, it suggests, “is evidence of a structural change taking place and an underlying shift to greater branding and the hotel market becoming less fragmented” – code for emphasising that independent hoteliers are the ones under increasing pressure. The number of independent hotel rooms is estimated to have declined by some 40,000 during the past decade, according to veteran hotel industry consultant Melvin Gold.

And the position is getting worse for the non-chains. “Branded budget hotels are the fastest growing tier of the market by some margin,” says Gold, who adds that ‘branded budgets’ now account for about a fifth of the total UK serviced accommodation market.

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