Quintessential British destinations such as the Lake District, Cambridge, York and Edinburgh are early beneficiaries of Brexit with a boom in international bookings in the weeks following the vote.
Early figures from independent hotel group Best Western Great Britain show that bookings from USA and China in particular rocketed in the week after the vote, with one hotel in Edinburgh reporting a ten-fold increase in bookings from America and Chinese bookings up nearly 50% compared with the same week last year.
In York too, hotels saw an increase in international bookings with one hotel recording a 236% increase in bookings from America in the post-Brexit, while in Cambridge, Chinese bookings increased 6% and in the Lake District a 10% increase in international bookings was recorded at one property.
Rob Payne, chief executive of Best Western Great Britain said: “We know it is early days but we are seeing a double bounce to business as a result of Brexit. We’ve seen an increase in international bookings to some of our hotels in great British locations and we’re exploring this further to see how widespread these numbers are. Interestingly, we are also seeing an increase in enquiries from hotel owners wanting to join the Best Western brand since the referendum.”
Best Western has recruited additional staff to its head office in York to help with the demand and interest in membership enquiries. In the month before the referendum Best Western recorded a 30% increase in membership enquiries, its highest level in recent years, and a trend that has continued since the vote.
Payne added: “Owners and managers are telling us that they are worried about what the impact of Brexit will mean longer term which makes our membership model, global reach and economies of scale reassuring and attractive in these uncertain times.
Best Western Great Britain represents the largest collection of independently owned and family run hotels in Great Britain, with over 260 properties across the country. It is a retained-profit membership organisation that aims to support independent hotels.