The United Kingdom is the 10th most internationally visited destination in the world, according to the UNWTO, with over 266m international overnights in 2018. Domestic visitation is also very strong with British travellers accounting for over 122m overnights in 2018, a 2.8% increase on the previous year.
The UK market has seen strong results in hotel performance and visitation, despite political and socio-economic challenges. The UK has recorded year-on-year RevPAR growth since 2010, supported by a positive economic background and a global increase in travel. Whilst London remains a key driver of UK tourism, capturing a large proportion of overall visitation, Regional UK markets have significantly gained popularity with both tourists and investors. In the past five years RevPAR growth in Regional UK has surpassed London, with a 2.4% 5-year CAGR, albeit with significant variances across markets.
However, new supply has started to impact performance in some markets and the number of hotel rooms in the pipeline shows that the trend will continue in the foreseeable future, although this varies considerably by market. Other challenges such as National Living Wage increases, business rates revaluation and recruitment and retention difficulties have had some impact on profitability levels.
The Regional UK market still presents opportunities for investors, developers and operators but it is necessary to understand the fundamentals and drivers of each individual market to accurately assess investment prospects. This report looks at the six largest regional cities by number of overnight stays and outlines each market dynamic by analysing the distinct context of demand, supply, performance and transactional trends.