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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 28th Feb 2023 - More than eight in ten consumers planning UK hotel stay in 2023
More than eight in ten consumers planning UK hotel stay in 2023, younger customers likely to order food for delivery as F&B offer ‘doesn’t meet need’: More than eight in ten consumers are planning to stay in a UK hotel in 2023, according to the latest GO Technology report from hospitality technology provider Zonal and CGA by NielsenIQ. The survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers showed nearly half (44%) will avoid hotel stays overseas due to cost-of-living increases. A further 39% said they’d be “staycationing” simply because they would prefer to travel within the UK rather than abroad this year, up 12% from 2022. Furthermore, for consumers choosing to holiday in the UK, it appears the frequency of their stays will increase, with just under a third of consumers (28%) planning to stay at a domestic hotel more than once this year. While half of consumers surveyed state they will stay in hotels the same amount as before the pandemic, a significant number (33%) of 18 to 34-year-olds have increased the frequency of their visits, with 23% visiting a UK hotel weekly. Nearly half (48%) of consumers plan to stay at a UK hotel for a weekend break rather than a holiday (31%). When it comes to younger consumers in particular, they are likely to plan much shorter visits to a UK hotel, with 27% saying that they would use a hotel for a day trip, driven by access to amenities such as a restaurant or bar, spa, gym or swimming pool. A third said great and easy-to-find online menus (34%) and positive reviews (34%) would encourage them to pre-book a restaurant table in a hotel, but nearly half (47%) would be encouraged by a discount. Nearly two thirds (64%) of 18 to 34-year-olds said they are likely to order food for delivery, compared with 13% of those aged 55-plus, often because the price, quality or variety of food that is available in hotels doesn’t meet their needs. Looking at drivers behind consumers’ decisions to stay at a UK hotel, price (66%) and location (61%) are at the top of their considerations.  

Oakman Group sales manager – one silver lining of pandemic is consumers see a holiday in the UK ‘as a real choice again’, OTAs a ‘necessary evil’: Pete Saunders, sales and revenue manager at Oakman Group, has said one silver lining of the pandemic is consumers see a holiday in the UK “as a real choice again”. Speaking at the launch of the latest GO Technology report from hospitality technology provider Zonal and CGA by NielsenIQ that shows 81% of consumers are planning to stay in a UK hotel in 2023, Saunders said: “With the ease of cheap flights and the likelihood of better weather, people saw going abroad as a better choice. I think during the pandemic we have been reminded there’s a lot of beautiful places in Britain and it’s now a viable option, especially given the cost-of-living crisis squeezing the purse strings.” Saunders also said online travel agencies (OTAs) are a “necessary evil” for the majority of operators. “They are so successful and a go-to for a lot of consumers, particularly when they don’t know an area,” he said. “I think we can educate consumers to a certain degree that OTAs are not the best price. However, if I’ve got a Thursday in a fortnight’s time that I’m struggling to fill, then I’m going to use the OTAs.” When it comes to the use of technology, Saunders said the 40-strong Oakman Group is trying to find “what the right balance is” as the world “returns to a bit more normality” post-covid. “We are doing different things with different demographics and properties while making sure we are doing what we do best – providing the best hospitality,” he said. “It’s a bit of a suck and see approach.” Saunders said review sites are “either your best friend or your worst enemy”, adding: “When you have a constructive review, then you need to see it as an opportunity, learn from it and move on.” He also said Oakman did not see the budget hotel chains as direct competition. “As pub-restaurants with rooms, we are a different kettle of fish,” he said. “We feel we offer more of an experience at our venues.”

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