PWC Hotels Forecast 2018: Weak Pound Drives Growth, But At A Slower Pace

–        Weak pound driving foreign tourists to UK  leads to high levels of hotel trading in H1 2017

–        London and Manchester hotels withstand impact from terrorist attacks

–        Growth forecast for 2018, but continued uncertainty and a supply spike in London means pace will slow

–        Deals activity to rise 43% year-on-year in 2017, but be 10% lower in 2018

PwC’s latest UK hotels forecast shows that a mixture of economic growth deceleration, the wearing off of the weak pound effect on inbound tourism, and a large increase in new hotel rooms, mean growth will come at a slower pace in 2018.

The outlook for London remains highly positive, with year-on-year occupancy growth of 2.3% forecast for this year with a further marginal increase of 0.2% in 2018, taking occupancy up two percentage points to 83%. Average Daily Rate (ADR) growth remains resilient and is forecast to increase 3.6% in 2017 with additional growth of 2.2% in 2018, taking ADR to £145 and £148 respectively. This drives a robust revenue per available room (RevPAR) gain of almost 6% this year and a further 2.4% in 2018, taking RevPAR to £120 this year and £123 in 2018. Some of the highest metrics of any city globally.

                                                                         London                                            Regions
A: Actual, F: Forecast 2016A 2017F 2018F 2016A 2017F 2018F
Occupancy% 81% 83% 83% 76% 76% 76%
ADE (£) 139 145 143 69 71 72
RevPAR 114 120 123 52 54 55
% growth on previous year
Occupancy -0.9% 2.3% 0.2% -0.3% 0.2% 0.3%
ADR -2.1% 3.6% 2.2% 3.3% 2.4% 2.0%
RevPAR -3.0% 6.0% 2.4% 3.0% 2.5% 2.3%


Hotels are missing vital marketing messages

Hotels are losing customers because they aren’t using the most effective marketing messages for their ratings, reveals new research from King’s Business School.

The researchers have created a model that exposes the truth about hotel performance using text from online customer reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor.

Using a big data set of more than a quarter of a million online reviews for more than 25,000 hotels in 16 countries, a total of 19 controllable factors were found to be vital for hotels to manage in their interactions with visitors. These included checking in and out, communication, homeliness, room experience and accommodating pets.

The research further identified the most important dimensions according to the star rating of hotels, with homeliness and events management being important for five-star hotels, while room experience and communication were basic requirements at one-star level.

“However, not all factors are considered by hotels and hotel comparison websites, like homeliness and natural beauty which the research revealed to be important for top-rated hotels and older consumers,” says Professor Stuart Barnes, “and so key marketing messages are being missed that would target the ideal customers. Hotels need to position themselves carefully.”

Clear differences were also found according to demographic segments. For example, men are more sensitive to price than women, while female hotel customers place greater significance on the standard of the bathroom.

The results, recently published in the journal Tourism Management, have clear implications for how hotels effectively market their offerings to different customers.

The application of advanced, mathematical machine learning techniques has provided an important development in marketing as Barnes, in collaboration with Hohai University, used them to develop a new model, which was compared with traditional numerical ratings. The approach provides a potential solution for many businesses seeking to understand the voice of their customers.