ResNet World is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with a number of great hotels in the UK. We, like the rest of the world, followed the news with curiosity as the people of this great nation voted to separate themselves from the European Union. As we sit here today, it is clear that there are many questions which are yet to be answered on what the future will hold both for UK citizens and the world around them as a result of this vote. Our curiosity turned inwards, towards the hospitality industry specifically and what was in store for our hotel partners in the country.
The feedback we received did not focus on a potential slide in the economy. The conversations we had did not revolve around whose political jobs might be in danger or what affect the Brexit vote would have on their specific hotels; either good or bad. There was no panic or excessive worry for the future. The resounding feedback that we received was simple: Life goes on and the future is indeed bright.
In 2006 cities like London achieved record levels in hotel occupancy, average rate and REVPAR. There was a worldwide drop after 2006. Since that drop, the market has sustained year on year growth, slowly climbing its way back to get closer to 2006 levels. This is especially true in the extended stay market. London as a whole has a very strong demand for extended stay hotel options. This is evident in the success of companies like Airbnb who see record levels of demand right now. Travelers are looking for larger, more open floor plans where they can feel more at home during their stay. Those who prefer extended stay options find that booking options are often hard to come by. How does this tie in to Brexit? One of our hotel partners noted that if Brexit were to halt all newly acquired business to the city they will still not be able to fulfill the demand in this sector.
Things are not gloomy outside the extended stay sector either. So far Brexit has not halted growth or caused a major upheaval in the industry. Growth is still there and there is no indication that it will stop. It is well understood by now that a drop in the British Pound could actually be good for travel within the UK. UK as a destination will immediately become more affordable to the everyday traveler. Nobody we talked to though wants to gain personally from the sufferings of other parts of the UK economy. UK citizens want a strong country with a strong economy that is open to the world.
It is easy enough to over react when Brexit is the headline of your local news stations and printed news outlets. We all have to remember though that politicians and news agencies often do a disservice in reflecting the true identity of a country. If you want to know the real story of Brexit then talk to the people who help drive its economy every single day. For them…. life goes on and the future is bright.