Luxury hotels was notably affected by lockdowns and government restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It may also have been affected by Brexit, but as the end of the transition period coincided with the start of the latest lockdown, it is hard to separate the effects of the two.
Since the slow opening of luxury hotels from July 2021, it is expected that corporate events will stay closer to home, which is good news for UK luxury hotels. As evidenced through the less restrictive months of 2021, domestic demand has generally returned first, as international travel remains tempered due to changing travel rules.
Despite an incredibly difficult year for the hotel business, Marriott International Inc maintained its lead over Accor UK Ltd as the leading luxury hotel group in the UK in value terms in 2020. Marriott International is adding two new hotels to its Luxury Collection, The Wellesley in Knightsbridge and The Westbury in Mayfair.
Luxury hotels is expected to experience a slow return to the pre-pandemic level of sales compared with budget and mid-priced hotels, because of the need for higher occupancy rates and an increased number of employees to operate the business. The recovery of luxury hotels in the UK to pre COVID-19 levels is expected when international travel returns to more stable pre-pandemic levels.
The pandemic has allowed consumers to take time to reconsider their life priorities for when things return to some form of “normal”. Under an ethos of “fly less, stay longer”, there is a new appetite for splendid isolation as an ultimate luxury experience to encourage solace, rest and mindfulness.
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Luxury: includes luxury and upper upscale hotels. Would generally include 5-star hotels and above, but may include some “4.5-Star” outlets, provided that the brands positioning warrants it. The luxury classification is primarily determined by the brand’s positioning and marketing, which will be at the high-end. Brand examples include Marriott, Hilton, Sofitel and InterContinental.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Hotels (5-star plus) research and analysis database.
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