The CEOs of Visit Kent and Locate in Kent will be attending and sponsoring next week’s Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester in order to promote The Garden of England as a valuable development opportunity for hotel owners, operators and investors.
Recent data demonstrates that the demand for overnight breaks in Kent is strong with accommodation providers in the county outperforming the wider Southeast and other English regions this summer.
Furthermore, research to be released shortly by Visit Kent shows that ‘suitable accommodation’ is the highest ranked decision influencer when it comes to taking a holiday in Kent, with 30% ranking it first and almost half ranking it first or second. Those surveyed said that not only is accommodation important but often “it IS the holiday.”
The business community are also keen to come to Kent and between February and June this year, over 1,000 enquiries were received from businesses looking for space with over 100 firms on waiting lists for hot desks or private desks in the county.
73% of buyers would also consider including Kent in a multi-destination incentive or business event itinerary.
However, research carried out by Canterbury Christ Church University last year showed that there is currently a shortage of 4 and 5 star hotels in Kent and only 30 properties in the county have over 100 bedrooms resulting in limited provision to hold large scale meetings, events and conferences. But there is huge demand for trips to the county and a strong appetite to support hotel development.
Deirdre Wells, CEO of Visit Kent, said: “Our visitor economy has grown by over £1billion in the past decade and is recovering strongly from the impact of the pandemic.
“Our accommodation offer needs to keep up with this growing demand – there is a clear opportunity for developers to address the lack of quality serviced accommodation, higher capacity properties and provision in rural locations in Kent.”
Gavin Cleary, CEO of Locate in Kent, said: “Having quality hotel accommodation in close proximity to some of the strategic sites we’ve identified is a win-win, for both business growth and hotel sector growth.”