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Almost 40,000 hotel rooms closed over past 10 years

14 October 2013 by
Almost 40,000 hotel rooms closed over past 10 years

Almost 40,000 hotel rooms have closed in the UK in the past decade.

That's according to new research conducted by Melvin Gold Consulting, which found that the majority were small, unbranded independent properties in coastal areas such as Cornwall, Blackpool and Torbay.

But it was resort areas where the most significant overall number of closures were seen, with Cornwall, Blackpool, Torbay, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight, as well as The Channel Islands, all featuring high levels of closures. Whereas new hotel openings outnumbered the closures in the London boroughs and larger cities, this was not the case in the coastal areas.

The study indicates that at least 39,174 rooms have closed in 2,139 hotels - an average size of 18.3 rooms per property.

Today, the UK serviced accommodation sector is made up of 730,000 rooms of which 43.5% are part of hotel chains with consortia membership comprising 4.7%.

Although Independent unbranded properties are still the majority of supply - 51.8% - this is fast changing. In particular the branded budget hotel sector has grown 10% per annum in the past decade and exceeded 20% in the prior decade and now has over 130,000 rooms, some 17.8% of total service accommodation.

Hotel Industry Consultant Melvin Gold reported on the research by saying: "The hotel industry in the British Isles is rapidly changing and it is very exciting to be part of such a dynamic sector that is adapting to its future.

"The transition of the UK hotel industry that is in progress is further evidenced by our research.

"We have found hotels changing use to residential accommodation, care homes, and student accommodation or being demolished to facilitate new development. It is important to note that it does not herald the end of the independent hotel, provided they are well-invested and market focused. I still expect them to comprise up to 40% of the future UK hotel market, but the majority of UK hotels will be branded within the next decade."

This process of change reflects the requirements of the 21st Century consumer and also creates increased employment opportunities as the supply-base moves towards larger, branded hotels. From 2003 to the end of 2013, 103,612 new hotel rooms have opened in the UK. Even taking account of closures I expect continued growth and the UK hotel industry to have more than 850,000 rooms by 2030."

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