June 15, 2024

SME bookings defy economic uncertainty

Hotel room nights booked in the UK by customers of the Advantage Travel Partnership grew by 8% last year. The growth suggests that business confidence among SMEs remains strong in spite of economic uncertainty, according to Advantage.

The consortium’s 2018 Hotels Market Report shows significant growth in room nights booked in cities in the Midlands and North East in particular, with Derby (up 31%) and York (up 22%) posting the largest year-on-year increases in bookings, and Nottingham and Gateshead also posting double-digit growth.

In the UK’s capital cities, bookings in both London and Cardiff were up 5%, Belfast business was up 13% and Edinburgh led the way with bookings in the city up 16%.

The report analyses corporate bookings from Advantage’s TMC members, whose clients are typically SMEs and represent an estimated 40% of the UK’s managed business travel spend.

Globally, hotel bookings were also up 8% year-on-year, with New York the most-booked destination and Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur and Boston among the fastest-growing for Advantage members.

“It is clear that the corporate hotel sector continues to grow, with another significant increase in bookings year-on-year, made by independent TMCs,” says Neil Armorgie, Global Product Director at Advantage.

“Despite continued uncertainty in both the global and UK economies including Brexit, hotel room night demand is at record levels in many destinations, providing a welcome boost for our members.”

Armorgie adds: “Although not all destinations in Britain saw an increase in room nights booked, ADR remained strong. It is also positive to see particularly good performance in both major cities and regions such as the East Midlands and North East.”

The full report can be viewed here.