We recently analysed the booking data from our 5,000+ UK customers and discovered that forward bookings for this summer are up 19.2% year on year compared with the same pre-Brexit-vote period – great news!
So, there’s little doubt that the Brexit vote and subsequent invoking of Article 50 have had a measurable positive impact on bookings for Britain’s independent hosts and hoteliers. There is no gloom at the Inn this summer! Our customers are seeing two benefits from a weaker pound: First, more bookings from U.K. consumers concerned about their reduced spending power abroad. Second, an increase in bookings from international customers, keen to take the opportunity to enjoy a British break at a favourable exchange rate. So it’s no surprise that nearly two thirds of owners (62.4%) expected to see an increase in foreign guests this year, reflecting the attractive exchange rate conditions.
Although we’re seeing uplift across the board, not all regions and types of property are benefiting equally: Areas of the country benefiting the most from the upswing in bookings are Central England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
It’s great to see such a strong performance from Central England, dispelling the myth that the B&B is all about the seaside. Country pursuits are a huge part of British leisure time and this performance demonstrates that. It’s also encouraging to see Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales doing so well. But the strong performance is a truly national trend.
Let’s all go to the seaside:
Seaside towns in particular have witnessed a rising tide of popularity as many travellers choose to forego leap-frogging flights to European seaside destinations and focus instead on the British seaside’s nostalgic charms. Seaside B&B bookings in towns like Torquay, Bognor, Brighton, Penzance, Scarborough, Blackpool and Great Yarmouth have been especially buoyant since the Brexit vote:
The British seaside offers incredible variety, as our owners in the top-performing Penzance and Scarborough will testify.
We would say that independent B&B’s, guest houses and hotels are experiencing something of a renaissance, with British tourists’ growing enthusiasm for the staycation driving more and more people to seek out the quirky joys of an independent host over a boring chain hotel. We’ve also found that family-friendly locations have seen a dramatic increase in popularity. People with accommodation labelled as family-friendly have seen bookings up an incredible 56.9% as families tighten their belts and choose British breaks.
It’s clear that the Brexit vote and the invoking of Article 50 have had a hugely positive impact on bookings at Britain’s B&Bs with our customers reaping the benefits from a weaker pound across the board.
So if you’re thinking about how to grow your bookings online in time for a bumper summer then find out more about how we help independent hosts and hoteliers tell their story globally here.