When the shock Brexit result sent tremors through the country in July, the hospitality industry braced itself for the fall out. Now the dust has settled slightly, some hoteliers are starting to see a positive impact on occupancy, revenue and rates while some savvy owners are already thinking outside the box to adapt to this market shift. So have you altered your marketing plans in a bid to benefit from Brexit?
Martin Scott, general manager, G&V Royal Mile Edinburgh
It is clear that post Brexit there is some uncertainty amongst the corporate market, with projects being put on hold, rather than cancelled. However, we see this as an opportunity to encourage people to visit Edinburgh and make the most of a Staycation. Particularly for the American & Asian market, where we have doubled our efforts marketing to the Agents oversees to view Scotland as a great destination, even better when the pound is weak and they can get more holiday for their money. It’s important we focus on the positive aspects of Brexit, where we believe the leisure market will see, at least, a short term boost, whilst corporates may present the biggest challenge.
Adrian McNally, general manager, The Culloden Estate & Spa
Northern Ireland remains an attractive global destination, and the region’s rich culture and heritage continues to draw international visitors, particularly in Belfast. We feel confident that attractions such as the Titanic Centre, Royal Country Down and our Culloden Estate & Spa being the first ever five star hotel in Northern Ireland (of which I am lucky enough to be General Manager) will continue to be popular with visitors. In addition, we expect a rebirth of the ‘staycation’ as domestic travellers choose to remain within loyal UK-based hotels given the rising costs of foreign travel. As such, we have not radically changed our marketing plans currently, as we don’t wish to show a knee jerk reaction to Brexit. Our biggest obvious change has been to pump a substantial proportion more into the ROI (Republic of Ireland) market which was in decline for 12 months or more when pound was strong against the Euro and made it expensive for our nearest neighbours to visit.
Mark Chambers, managing director, Eden Hotel Collection
Eden Hotel Collection has always had a focused and strategic approach around marketing, and whilst we recognise the need to respond to market conditions, significant events and influencing factors, we have seen no significant shift in business trends at this time. Despite the unexpected results of Brexit, we are enjoying high occupancy in this peak season trading period. We have a strong brand, backed by a clear vision and we have yet to see the need at this early stage to refocus our marketing efforts. It is clearly all too early to make any firm judgement, and as an industry we just need to wait and see how things will unfold.’
Richard Ball, executive chairman, The Calcot Collection
As a group, The Calcot Collection is orientated towards the domestic market, and we are probably benefitting in this respect from the weak pound and expensive Euro. We have a small amount of US business which may suffer due to other worldwide issues, despite the cheap pound, but we take a long view on this market so will not alter our strategy greatly. Calcot and Barnsley House’s membership of Pride of Britain also stands these two of our hotels in further good stead in the UK market.