January floods cost York hoteliers £1m in lost business

Figures from Best Western Great Britain show how badly impacted some tourist hotspots have been by the recent flooding, with York hotel business down £1million in January alone. 

Members of the Best Western Great Britain call centre in York, waiting for David Cameron's call.
Members of the Best Western Great Britain call centre in York, waiting for David Cameron’s call.

Occupancy in the city – parts of which were flooded over the Christmas and New Year period – was down 12.6% for the month and revenue was down 11.5% – equating to £947,115 in lost business. This combined with cancellation of forward bookings as a result of the floods means the financial impact of the flood has cost York hotels more than £1million alone, without taking into account lost revenue from impacted businesses such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and visitor attractions.

The Government launched a PR campaign last week to get more people to stay in the flood hit areas, but Rob Payne, chief executive of Best Western Great Britain, which has its Head Office in York, doesn’t believe it is enough.

He said: “The hospitality industry needs more support from the Government. Mr Cameron frequently takes advantage of lower Tourism VAT rates in Portugal and Spain every time he holidays there, but he won’t cut Tourism VAT in Britain to allow us to compete with those destinations.

“£1million loss in a month is a lot to recover, so I’d like to invite Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne to lead by example and to commit to holidaying in the north of England this year too, helping those people, places and businesses that badly need support. Best Western hotels would be happy to host them, we have over 60 in the north of England and an award-winning call centre in York waiting to take their call [pictured].”

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