September 2017: Bristol’s hotels have enjoyed a bumper summer after hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked to the city to enjoy its many attractions and events.
Hoteliers also benefited from displaced demand due to major events in nearby Cardiff, which did not have enough accommodation of its own.
August 2017 saw the best weekend performance from Bristol hotels ever recorded, according to initial data from Destination Bristol, who also reported visits to key Bristol attractions rose by up to 20% compared to August 2016.
Meanwhile HotStats, a profit and loss benchmarking service to hoteliers, says Bristol was one of the top performing markets in the UK in July, and achieved a record RevPAR figure in June (RevPAR is the total bedroom revenue divided by the number of available rooms).
Nationally, UK hotels saw a 4.4% increase in RevPAR in July 2017 compared to July 2016, but in Bristol, that increase was 7.9%, with the city’s hotels enjoying an occupancy rate of nearly 85%.
The Bristol Hoteliers Association welcomed the figures, which paint a prosperous picture for the city’s accommodation providers.
Chairman Mark Payne said: “The weather may not have been consistent this summer, but business at Bristol’s hotels has been, which is excellent news since the hotels in Greater Bristol have a major role to play in the prosperity of the city and its surrounding areas.
“There are a number of factors which have contributed to this, not least of which is the quality and quantity of available accommodation, coupled with the many events and attractions that this vibrant city has to offer.
“Other factors include the poor exchange rate, which has prompted more people to enjoy city breaks and ‘staycations’ in the UK, as well as making it more affordable for foreign visitors to come to our country.”
Popular events such as the International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol Harbour Festival and the Downs Music Festival brought thousands of people to Bristol, but its hotels have also benefited from major events slightly further afield.
While there might be no love lost between Bristol and nearby Cardiff when it comes to local rivalry and football, Bristol’s hoteliers definitely owe the Welsh capital a debt of gratitude for contributing towards their successful summer.
Mr Payne said: “Several events took place during the summer which drew huge numbers of people to Cardiff, including the Champions League Final and two performances by Coldplay at The Principality Stadium.
“Cardiff could not cope with the demand for accommodation, so people who could not find rooms there came to Bristol, which has excellent transport links to South Wales.”
Mr Payne added that while the figures are positive, there is no room for complacency, and said the association would be working hard to further improve the quality and standard of hotel service and build on the successful summer.
The VisitBristol website attracted 284,000 visitors, its highest total for August ever, and there was the highest number of conference enquiries in an August since 2004.