The latest data from Expedia Group has revealed UK hoteliers enjoyed an encouraging start to the year, continuing the positive momentum of 2018, thanks to a healthy rise in hotel demand from international travellers – fuelled in the main by traditionally strong visitor markets.
The findings drawn from Q1 2019 data* (January, February, March) show that demand for trips made by international travellers increased when compared to the same period last year, with major metropolitan cities and several regions across the country boosted by double digit year-on-year growth.
Outside of London, a number of major cities experienced notable growth, including Manchester (over +10% year on year), Edinburgh (+15% year on year), Glasgow, Leeds and Cardiff (each +10% year on year).
Top performing UK regions across the period included Kent, Berkshire, East Anglia and the Lake District & Cumbria. Hoteliers in these regions experienced double digit growth in demand, according to Expedia Group figures. Demand in both Scotland and Wales increased in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period last year.
In part, this encouraging growth continues to be driven by visitors from Asia with demand from Chinese travellers to the UK rising by over 180% year-on-year, supported by further growth in demand from Japan (almost +25% year-on-year) and Korea (almost +20% year on- year).
The surge from Asia was buoyed by demand from traditionally strong visitor markets such as the US (almost +25% year on year), Germany (+15% year on year) and France (+15% year on year).
According to the figures, a strong increase in UK mobile demand made via app, mobile web or tablet devices was driven by visitors from all over the globe, but significantly from the US (+35% year on year), Japan (+50%) and France (almost +50%).
Package demand has also grown strongly across a number of visitor markets as interest in ‘Destination UK’ shows little sign of dipping despite the prevailing uncertain political climate. This helped boost growth of these types of bookings (a combination of hotel, and/or flight and/or car hire) by almost 25% year on year.
Commenting on the findings, Irene Roberts, Director of Market Management, Expedia Group, said: “Our first quarter data for 2019 points to a really encouraging start to the year for our hotel partners across the UK. Our proposition of providing hotels with the technology and marketing tools to promote themselves to valuable international visitors continues to make a positive impact.
“With the summer months ahead, a period which traditionally is always popular with international travellers visiting the UK, hoteliers should be confident of enjoying some busy times welcoming guests from across the globe.”
* Data includes UK hotel demand from Q1 2019 (Jan – Mar, 2019) compared with the same period the previous year.