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UK hotel bookings surge by 63% in a week as businesses start to reopen

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Bookings for hotels within the Cairn Group spiked 63% in the week prior to reopening as the industry starts its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Group, which owns and operates a portfolio of branded and independent hotels, bars and restaurants across the UK, saw a rise in bookings following the government’s official reopening message, with a particular increase in corporate bookings.

Cairn Group’s revenue director Paula Hayes is confident the hospitality industry can progressively recover from the months of lockdown.

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She said: “A week since the announcement that hotels can re-open, bookings are up 63% compared to the prior week.

“The mix of business has varied across properties with a high number still housing key workers but we have seen an increase in corporate bookings with the highest growths being between Monday and Wednesday.”

She added that out of the Group’s 32 properties, those in cities will take longer to recover and the bookings at the moment back this up.

 “Capital cities like London, Edinburgh and Cardiff are currently slow to return and all declined on the previous week however we do expect to see an improvement for Cardiff and Edinburgh when they open fully,” she added.

General managers and operations directors have been working hard in the last few weeks to incorporate the new Government health and safety guidelines and ensure consumers are safer than ever.

Vince Johnson, general manager at the Redworth Hall Hotel in County Durham, said: “New processes and systems have been introduced throughout our property including online ordering from table for all food and drinks. The digitalisation of the menu directly in your smartphone reduce to zero the risk of interacting with physical menus which were usually shared among guests.

“To reassure our clientele on social distancing, we have even implemented a new 110 seat outdoor dining and drinks area as an option during good weather.”

The lack of physical contact has become a key paradigm in the hospitality industry.

“One of the significant changes in our guest experience is the introduction of the digital key for contactless arrivals,” said Andrew Glover general manager at the DoubleTree by Hilton Newcastle International Airport. 

“Check-ins and check-outs done at the front desk will be very limited to those who are not yet confident with the use of contemporary technology. You can now check yourself in by using an app where you even have the option to choose the room where you will be staying.”

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Zoe Monk

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