‘British Hotel’ – what do these two words mean to us in 2015? For many in the hospitality industry in Britain it’s a struggle to shake off the lingering ghost of Basil Fawlty, bumbling around his eponymous ‘nice’ hotel in Torquay, where customer service is an alien concept and the snooty proprietor spends most of his time looking down his nose at his own guests.
This dyed-in-the-wool image does a disservice to the huge success story of a fast-modernising British industry. Hotels from small townhouse boutiques to gleaming city centre high rises are doing a roaring trade, catering to UK-based and overseas city-breakers and business travellers. Add to this an excellent mid-level offering from the likes of Travelodge and Premier Inn, and Fawlty towers seems more than ever like a distant memory.
The UK hotel industry was worth £6.9 billion in 2009 and grew by 5.2% to £8.5 billion in 2013, an impressive feat in the teeth of the most severe depression since the 1920’s.
It’s when we look at how that growth breaks down year-on-year that we get a sense of what ‘s driving it – in 2012 the sector grew by a staggering 26.9%, fuelled by the number of overseas visitors drawn to the London 2012 Olympics, and to a lesser extent the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Overseas visitors are therefore a key driver for growth for the UK Hotel Industry (and the Travel and Tourism sector in general), and catering to these guests through localisation has been a key element of the UK Hotel industry’s strategy to court the global market.
The Holy Grail for hotels is to make their guests feel at home, which is what makes localisation such an attractive, easy-win proposition for them – for a relatively small outlay, it brings a sense of the guest’s home country to them. Once you start looking into what could be localised in a hotel setting, the possibilities are endless – the menus, the in-room information booklets, the room service system (which is now increasingly contained within tablet or smartphone apps rather than the hotel TV or the phone), the gym instructions….
It’s this service that Capita TI has already supplied, with great results, to several major hotel chains, and which every chain or group with international aspirations will need – if you’re interested, get in touch with our team to start the conversation.