LONDON, UK – 30 July 2012 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the results of the latest TripAdvisor Industry IndexTM, the world’s largest hotel survey. With more than 25,000 responses from accommodation owners around the globe, and over 2,500 from the UK alone, the survey has revealed some surprising findings about today’s top hospitality industry trends. Chief among them: the finding that economic optimism is rising among the UK’s accommodation industry.
Accommodation owners have become more positive during the first half of 2012 with 27 percent of respondents stating that they believe the economy will improve during the remainder of the year. This demonstrates that UK accommodations have become 30 percent more optimistic since TripAdvisor’s Industry Index in Dec. 2011, when only 19 percent felt the economy would improve in 2012.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents describe their business as profitable or very profitable in the past six months, making UK accommodations the third most profitable across Europe, behind Turkey and Germany. One delighted respondent listed the rise in profitability as the best surprise for business in 2012, stating, “Our business has grown some 30% over the last 6 months compared to the same 6 months last year.”
The profitability outlook is encouraging; compared with the same period last year, approximately one in four (26%) accommodations said they have increased their room rates for July and August and 23 percent plan to increase their room rates ahead of the Autumn season.
Jubilympics – Good or Bad for UK Accommodation Businesses?
Despite economic optimism and strong profitability, it seems Britain’s promised influx of visitors this July and August is not expected to have the bumper effect on UK accommodation businesses many owners were hoping for. When asked if Britain’s time on the world stage this summer would have any lasting effect on business, over half of respondents (58%) stated it would have no effect. A third of respondents (35%) were more positive, saying there would be either a short-term or long-term positive effect.
One disillusioned hotelier cited “the negative impact of the Olympic games” as this year’s worst surprise for business. “The Olympics has made Summer Trading difficult - overseas custom is down significantly on last year” said another frustrated respondent, while a third owner said, “Olympics has been a non event for occupancy!”
Euro Crisis – Affecting More Than Just The Eurozone
The Euro crisis has had a devastating effect on the economies of many countries in continental Europe, but UK hospitality businesses are also feeling the crunch. Overall, 87 percent of respondents believe the Euro debt crisis will have an impact on their businesses over the next six months, with one hotelier explaining, “We rely almost entirely on guests from Germany and Holland. We have seen a noticeable drop in visitor numbers from those countries and Europe as a whole.”
Of those accommodation owners that believe their businesses will be affected, 29 percent feel that the impact will be major with one frustrated owner saying, “The Euro crisis has increased the cost and deterred European visitors. The uncertainty in Holland has almost wiped out all of our Dutch tourists.”
“The TripAdvisor Industry Index underscores the current global economic climate, as hoteliers in North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are all approximately twice as likely to report being profitable in the last six months than hoteliers in the EMEA region,” said Christine Petersen, President, TripAdvisor for Business. “This trend is also reflected in the global economic outlook; over one quarter of respondents from the EMEA region think that the economy will deteriorate, making them less optimistic than any other region.”
For more data from the TripAdvisor Industry Index, please download the report here.
The latest installment of the TripAdvisor 2012 Industry Index was conducted from the 7th to the 14th of June 2012 and was sent by email to a random sample of global accommodation owners and managers. The survey generated 25,517 responses worldwide, with 2,506 responses from UK accommodation representatives. Data analysis and additional survey consultation were performed by Brainbox Research Ltd.