Today’s news in brief – 09/10/23

Hotels in the UK experienced a strong summer season, with a roughly 10% increase in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR), largely driven by events and international demand. Edinburgh stood out as the top performer, achieving an 89% occupancy rate and robust rate growth, thanks to its appeal to overseas tourists and events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Liverpool followed closely with a 16% RevPAR increase, boosted by high-profile sporting events such as The Open. Northern Ireland, Scotland Provincial, and London all saw a resurgence in foreign tourists, particularly from the US. While high-end hotels are recovering gradually, overall occupancy rates are on the rise, and the industry anticipates a positive year.

Hotel rates in London are expected to increase by 9.1% in 2024, despite a potential softening in leisure travel demand, according to American Express data. Globally, rates are forecasted to rise in many cities by as much as 17.5%, driven by factors like limited supply and local conditions. The shift is attributed to a decrease in leisure travel demand, offset by an increase in business travel and meetings and events.

Foxhills, a prominent club and resort in Surrey, has promoted Georgina Tyson to the role of director of leisure and spa. This move coincides with further investments in leisure facilities, including gym and spa reception refurbishments and the addition of pickleball and paddle tennis facilities in 2024. Tyson’s leadership experience from previous roles in top UK leisure, fitness, and event businesses makes her well-suited to enhance the leisure experience for club members.

The Michelin Guide is introducing the Michelin Key, a special distinction for exceptional hotels and travel experiences, starting in 2024. This new distinction aims to recommend establishments that excel in various areas, including architecture, craftsmanship, service quality, and uniqueness. The Michelin Guide’s selection covers more than 5,000 hotels in 120 countries, and it considers criteria like the establishment’s destination appeal, architecture, service quality, comfort, and consistency in providing value for the price paid. The Michelin Guide intends to help travellers find personalised experiences and streamline booking through an independent platform that offers customer service and expert guidance. The first Michelin Key selection will be revealed in the first half of 2024. Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guide, highlights the Michelin Key as a reliable indicator for travellers and an acknowledgment of dedicated hospitality professionals’ efforts.

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