The hotels in the U.K. are prepping for more visitors after an awful 2020. Several luxury or boutique U.S. hotel operators are prepared to check-in. The Mondrian, the NoMad, and the Graduate are the brands that are considering opening new U.K. properties over the summer. They are confident that a mix of cultural tourists from abroad and stir-crazy locals looking forward to travelling will fill their rooms. Chadi Farhat, chief operating officer of the Los Angeles-headquartered SBE Entertainment Group, believes that luxury travel will always incline towards London as the city remains buoyant and a global capital of art architecture, food, and drink, as well as commerce. His group is looking forward to opening the 120-room Mondrian Hotel in the East London neighbourhood of Shoreditch this summer. The suites will be costing as much as £1,099 a night.
Graduate Hotels stated that it would soon be opening its first European outposts in the England university cities of Oxford and Cambridge. Chief Executive Ben Weprin believes that Britons prevented from travelling overseas this summer will choose to staycation instead. U.K. hotels have faced a more challenging 2020 than those in the U.S. Hoteliers in Britain who underwent months of government-directed full or partial closures. Lodging data company STR stated that British occupancy levels in 2020 stood at 40.4%, which was slightly worse than the 44.1% in the U.S. However, it was slightly better than in Germany, where occupancy levels came down to 31.9%. British hotel revenue per available room in 2020 dropped down harder, too; it was down about 60% compared with 2019.
On the other hand, the U.S. hotel revenue dropped to 47% over that period. In London, the more moderately priced hotels went through small losses in 2020. Many of them remained limited by health and other essential workers or were pushed into service as quarantine hotels. Julian Kemp, a senior director of CBRE, hopes that the U.K.’s rapid vaccination program can help its tourist trade to bounce back compared to other nations. However, he does know that international travel will not return to a semblance of normality before 2022. But when that does happen, he feels that the business travellers are the ones to watch. Mr Julian Kemp also has faith in luxury, stating that as per all the statistics of how much people have saved over the last 12 months, they would want to have that kind of experience.
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