Despite the economic uncertainty, 170 hotels – with 21,500
rooms – are scheduled to open in the UK in 2012, according to the
British Hospitality Association’s (BHA) Trends and Developments report.
This figure is nearly double the amount of new bedrooms
which came to market in 2011, when 106 hotels opened with 11,800 rooms. The BHA
had anticipated a total of 18,838 rooms, but this was affected by postponement
or cancellation as a result of the recession or planning delays.
Ufi Ibrahim, BHA’s chief executive, said: “This year’s actual
total – a drop of 6,955 – suggests the scale of the difficulties in fund-raising
as well as in planning problems and developers going into administration. However, only some of these projects have been lost; our
forecast for 2012 – 21,500 – includes many of the projects postponed from 2011
with some even moving to 2013.”
The budget sector in particular continues to prosper, with
more than 7,100 new rooms added in 2011 and 14,575 forecast for 2012.
Ibrahim added that that the key to the hotel industry’s
future is to remove some of the barriers to growth, the main one being the high
rate of VAT on hotel accommodation compared with other EU member states.
“This is making the UK
uncompetitive with much of Europe,” she said.
“The BHA is the only organisation leading discussions on this with the
government and we believe they will bear fruit in the long-term. Certainly,
only through reasoned argument and discussion will the industry’s case be
British Hospitality: Trends and Development 2011 is
available in PDF format for £175 (free to members) from the British Hospitality