Hotel insolvencies in the UK hit a five-year high in 2019, rising by 60% to 144, according to research by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.
The figure compares to 90 insolvencies in 2018, with the accountancy company attributing the rise to a slowdown in the UK economy hitting corporate spend, a 3% fall in visits from overseas tourists in 2018 compared to 2017 and increased competition.
In 2018 15,500 rooms were added to the market, with a further having been 19,300 forecast for 2019, while alternative providers such as Airbnb continue to grow.
Peter Kubik, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “The hospitality sector is facing a period of considerable upheaval. Those hotels that are unable to fund change face being left behind.
“On top of that, Airbnb is increasing its market share and not just amongst millennials. Hotels – many of which are lagging behind in their use of technology – are going to have to quickly bring themselves up to speed.”
Hotels have also been impacted by the pressures taking their toll across the hospitality sector, including increases in the National Living Wage, business rates and food costs.