Accommodation providers ramp up investment, report finds

Some 86% of holiday accommodation owners have said they invested in their business during the pandemic, with 94% saying they have made a long-lasting, positive change, according to new research from building society The Cumberland.

Despite recent government plans to relax foreign travel, its research suggests there is “still caution” amongst UK holidaymakers, with 84% opting to holiday in the UK this summer.

Of these, the survey also revealed that hotels (38%) and cottages (32%) were the most popular types of accommodation, followed by bed and breakfast accommodation (24%).

However, Covid-19 compliance and cleanliness is still “dominating” the choice of accommodation providers, according to the research, with 69% saying they are willing to pay more for hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets offering these additional services.

The findings also suggested that when it comes to destinations, Cornwall was the favourite UK destination (17%) with the Lake District and Devon equally popular at 14%, followed closely by Scotland (13%), Wales (11%) and East Anglia (9%).

Commissioned by The Cumberland, which has a long-established hospitality lending team, the survey of 1,021 UK adults and 233 UK accommodation owner/managers also highlighted that four-fifths of holiday accommodation owners questioned (80%) said that they had been spending money on being compliant with Covid-19 guidelines, while 71% have been improving their property or services.

Scott McKerracher, head of Commercial at The Cumberland, said: “This dual research amongst consumers and UK holiday accommodation owners provides really important insights into the opportunities and challenges currently faced by the British hospitality industry, as it navigates its way out of the pandemic and into the ‘new normal’.

“With mortgage customers across the UK hospitality industry, including hotels, B&Bs and holiday let owners, we understand how optimism within the market can show a clear way forward for this sector.”

He added: “It is very clear from our consumer research that a UK holiday is by far and away the main choice for British consumers this summer and it seems that many UK accommodation owners have decided to invest in their businesses not only for the short term but also to make long lasting, positive change.

“This can only bode well for the sector going forward, as consumer confidence rises to match.”

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