Will Bristol’s hotel market see continued success?

Mark Payne, Bristol Hoteliers Association

After a year of record numbers for visitors and occupation rates in the city’s hotels, Bristol looks set to have a bumper 2018.

Business Leader Magazine hears the thoughts of Bristol Hoteliers Association Chairman Mark Payne about what the city can do to maintain its level of tourism.

There may be fewer ‘spike’ events in the calendar for 2018, with Glastonbury having a rest year and no Champions League in Cardiff, but we remain confident of another good year in 2018.

The current economic climate and poor exchange rate has been beneficial to us, because it has prompted more people to enjoy city breaks and ‘staycations’ in the UK, which is likely to continue well into 2018.

The exchange rate has also made it much more affordable for foreign visitors to come here, and with Bristol Airport on our doorstep, the city is an attractive and popular destination.

The recent British Meetings & Events Industry Survey is also great news and reflects on the hard work and investment put in by all our members.

We now need to maintain this momentum to make sure Bristol remains front of mind with those in charge of meetings, conferences and events.

There may still be some business coming Bristol’s way from our neighbours across the Severn too; three of four Ed Sheeran shows in Cardiff in June have already sold out. This may be another welcome boost, with Cardiff not being able to cope with the demand for beds, and Bristol being so close.

Of course, it would be even better – and provide us with a more consistent boost – if plans for Bristol’s own Arena were closer to fruition.

Recently, Peter Kay said he would rather come to a Bristol Arena than go to Cardiff. If the Bristol Arena does get built, this will undoubtedly be beneficial to the city’s accommodation providers and, if anything, we might find ourselves giving Cardiff’s hoteliers a helping hand in return.

But of course, our priority is to play our part in the prosperity of Bristol, and we’re continuing to do that through providing the right quantity of quality accommodation to provide a base for the many tourists and business people who visit our vibrant city.