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Stir it up magazine July 2017

British hotels and the leisure industry are set for a record year with a substantial increase in both home and international visitors planning holidays in the UK. According to the Barclays Corporate Banking report ‘Destination UK: driving growth in the UK hospitality and leisure sector’, 63% of international holidaymakers said they are more interested in holidaying in the UK than this time last year, with 31% citing the weaker pound. A fifth of the survey’s 10,000 respondents said that TV programmes like The Crown are driving British appeal, particularly among Chinese (44%) and US (26%) guests, and that high-profile advertising campaigns (29%) are having their effect on overseas audiences. Greater spending power (30%) was also cited as a key reason why they were more interested in visiting the UK in 2017. The summer is also set to see lots of “staycations” with nearly a third of UK holidaymakers expecting to spend more of their holiday time in the UK this year. Half of UK respondents choosing a UK break described the familiarity of food, language and travel options as making the UK ‘hassle free’ with 31% now more aware of UK holiday options. Nearly four in 10 respondents of those citing cost as a factor behind a UK break said the weaker pound made holidays in the The summer will see lots of “staycations” with nearly a third of UK holidaymakers expecting to spend more of their holiday UK preferable to those abroad, and 39% said a domestic holiday represents better value time in the UK. for money in 2017. During their staycations, Brits expect to spend an average of £309 on accommodation, £152 on dining out and £121 on shopping, if they were to spend time holidaying in the UK this year. Mike Saul, head of hospitality & leisure at Barclays, said: “2017 looks setto be a strong year for the British hospitality sector with both domestic and international visitors increasingly intent on spending more time here. “While the impact of a weak sterling, at least temporarily, has boosted the UK’s international appeal, underlying this increase is the quality of our hospitality industry today and the UK’s enduring appeal as a truly world class destination.” UK hospitality and leisure industry set for bumper year During t heir stay cat ions, Brits expec t t o spend an average Experiences and o f £152 on dining technology rise out up the holiday wish list Offering guests tailored experiences will be key to Younger UK consumers are more success. interested in a high-tech approach to the leisure sector than older consumers. Over a third (36%) of 18-34s would be more likely to use a bar that invested in automated drinks dispensing, compared to just 6% of the 55 and overs. Younger consumers are also more comfortable with automated ordering in restaurants, with 43% of 18-34s saying they would be more likely to use such a restaurant compared to 14% of the 55 and overs. Mike Saul adds: “Our research points to clear differences in preferences between different ages of traveller with regards to tech-driven innovations. Offering guests tailored experiences will be key to success for operators in the UK hospitality and leisure sector in 2017.” HOSPITALITY JULY 2017 17


Stir it up magazine July 2017
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