Best Western Great Britain is offering 15,000 hotel bedrooms and over 1,000 meeting rooms to help the NHS and local authorities through the Coronavirus crisis.
The rooms are available for NHS staff, care workers, families, lower risk patients and the over 70s to help take the strain off hospital wards and allow clinicians to treat the most vulnerable patients.
The figure of 15,000 represents over 90% of the group’s 270 hotels and is rising hourly.
Andrew Denton, head of hotel services at Best Western Great Britain, said: “Since our offer to help at the weekend we have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our hotels. Local hospitals, councils and local authorities have also been in touch directly asking for help and today we are repurposing our technology and our call centre to manage the interest and the demand.
“We would urge the wider hospitality industry to join our cause too. We are serious about helping reduce the number of deaths. 20,000 is too many. If our rooms and our support can be part of the solution that brings that figure down, then we will have done our job.”
Best Western Great Britain is a not-for-profit membership organisation of independently owned hotels. It was established in Great Britain in 1978.
The Covid-19 outbreak hit at what was looking like a positive period for Best Western bookings.
The group had seen growth in year-over-year bookings for January and bookings by departure month for January and February were also up. The trend since the end of February has been the opposite.
Cancellations for February to March 7 have shown a ‘significant increase’ over the previous period and bookings by departure for March to July are showing varying degrees of decline.
This is reflected across the industry.