The challenging financial climate is not preventing people in Bristol from planning to party this Christmas, city hoteliers say.
Bookings for festive events are up on last year although they have not returned to the pre-pandemic levels of Christmas 2019.
The Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) says that there are still dates available for party planners, thanks mainly to the football World Cup.
BHA Chair, Raphael Herzog, said:
“We are pleased to see that, despite the cost of living crisis and concerns over energy prices, people are still keen to enjoy themselves this winter.
“Because of the pandemic, many have not really been out for the last two Christmas seasons and, if anything, because of the current climate, they are even more determined to enjoy themselves this year.
“We are pleased that festive party bookings for 2022 are higher than in 2021, even if they have not returned to the levels they were at in 2019.
“Of course, we have the unusual situation of a winter football World Cup this year, and we have party opportunities during that time because planners have been reluctant to book events for dates when England are playing – or when they may play, depending on how they progress in the tournament.
“There are a lot less corporate parties, which seems to be more down to people running out of time to organise them than a reluctance to spend.
“Overall, the Christmas party season for 2022 is encouraging, an improvement on last year, which is a move in the right direction.
“So many people have been affected by the impact of the lockdowns, energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis, but if there is one time, more than any other, when people feel they do want to let their hair down and try to have some fun, it is Christmas, and we are seeing that in our bookings.
“But there are still some dates available, especially around the World Cup, so it’s not too late to book a festive event at one of our wonderful venues.”