A fifth consecutive year of profit growth for the UK hotel market has left accommodation providers in Bristol cautiously optimistic about enjoying a prosperous 2018.
Occupancy rates in the greater Bristol area for 2017 have been 79%, buoyed with people coming to the city to enjoy its many attractions and events, while August saw the best weekend performance from Bristol hotels ever recorded, according to Destination Bristol.
HotStats, a profit and loss benchmarking services to hoteliers, named Bristol as one of the top performing markets in the UK in July, and said the UK industry was on course for a fifth consecutive year of profit per room growth.
The city has also become one of the most popular destinations for business meetings and events according the annual British Meetings & Events Industry Survey with Bristol now ranked fifth across the UK. It is seen as an increasingly important city which now delivers the infrastructure that event organisers want combined with an accessible location and excellent value.
Major events such as the International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol Harbour Festival, the Downs Music Festival, concerts at the Lloyds Ampitheatre, sporting fixtures such as World Cup cricket and Glastonbury Festival all generated demand for accommodation in and around the city.
There was also displaced demand due to several major events in Cardiff, which did not have enough bed space of its own; Champions League football and sell-out Coldplay concerts at the Principality Stadium all helped boost business in Bristol.
Bristol Hoteliers Association Chairman Mark Payne said: “There may be fewer ‘spike’ events in the calendar for 2018, with Glastonbury having a rest year and no Champions League in Cardiff, but we remain confident of another good year in 2018.
“The current economic climate and poor exchange rate has been beneficial to us, because it has prompted more people to enjoy city breaks and ‘staycations’ in the UK, which is likely to continue well into 2018.
“The exchange rate has also made it much more affordable for foreign visitors to come here, and with Bristol Airport on our doorstep, the city is an attractive and popular destination.
“The recent British Meetings & Events Industry Survey is also great news and reflects on the hard work and investment put in by all our members. We now need to maintain this momentum to make sure Bristol remains front of mind with those in charge of meetings, conferences and events.”
“There may still be some business coming Bristol’s way from our neighbours across the Severn too; three of four Ed Sheeran shows in Cardiff in June have already sold out. This may be another welcome boost, with Cardiff not being able to cope with the demand for beds, and Bristol being so close.
“Of course, it would be even better – and provide us with a more consistent boost – if plans for Bristol’s own Arena were closer to fruition.
“Recently, Peter Kay said he would rather come to a Bristol Arena than go to Cardiff. If the Bristol Arena does get built, this will undoubtedly be beneficial to the city’s accommodation providers and, if anything, we might find ourselves giving Cardiff’s hoteliers a helping hand in return.“But of course, our priority is to play our part in the prosperity of Bristol, and we’re continuing to do that through providing the right quantity of quality accommodation to provide a base for the many tourists and business people who visit our vibrant city.”
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