Some venues are reporting that revenues are still down by more than 80% despite July’s reopening.
Despite the many successful initiatives that have already been put in place, industry commentators are concerned that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be difficult to recover from, and will certainly be hampered by the continuation of social distancing which as we all know, is the right thing to do to prevent the spread of infection.
What is striking is the different effect that the pandemic has had in London and the regions.
London is suffering greatly with occupancy in some of the Hotels being at 10%, whereas others in the regional countryside locations being up as high as 91%, and given that the Cities rely largely on aeroplanes and tourists, the challenge will remain for the foreseeable future.
We need to find a way to tell people that we are open for domestic tourism as it is that which will save some of the businesses now.
The Staycation has never been as important to this industry and to this country as it is now in order to secure the future of Hospitality and to drive income back to the coffers.
A clear message and a clear plea needs to be sent out by the Government to urge people to book rooms and stay in our Hotels, as without support from the UK nationals, the industry will never be the same again.
While it remains too soon to comment with certainty on how the industry will fair over the remainder of 2020 and beyond, there are reasons to be optimistic. In the years that followed the 2008 financial crisis the domestic staycation market saw a huge boost in popularity and fuelled significant growth in the sector. In 2019 46.4 million holiday trips were taken in England – a 2 per cent increase on 2018, according to Visit Britain.
Industry growth has continued due to vast improvements in the quality and variation of accommodation on offer (for example, lodges, glamping pods) and increasingly straight-forward booking facilities online. It seems entirely plausible that we could see a similar recovery again.