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UK hospitality trend predictions for 2017

Just what does 2017 have in store for our industry? Here are some forecasts and predictions for 2017 from the UK travel, hospitality and meetings industries, provided by some of Custard Communications’ clients.

Weddings

Ben Booker, general manager at Ashdown Park Hotel, says: “There is a noticeable shift away from the rustic barn-style wedding that has been so popular in recent years and 2017/18 is seeing an increase in popularity towards country house venues such as Ashdown Park. Couples are appreciating the benefits of booking a comprehensive wedding day, where everything is arranged by a single coordinator rather than trying to arrange the plans themselves with multiple suppliers all working to different priorities. Ashdown Park has limited availability for the summer of 2017 and many key dates for summer 2018 are already taken. We are also delighted to see several dates in 2019 also already booked.”


Sustainable Tourism

Katie Meyrick, general manager of Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant says: “2017 has been officially named the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the UN World Tourism Organisation, so we’re expecting to see more hotels and hospitality businesses embracing sustainable practices and doing more to be kinder to the environment. Guests are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of travel and want to be able to have exceptional experiences without it costing the earth.”
Visit one of the UK’s leading sustainable tourism destinations from £50 pp pn.

Afternoon Tea

Mark Redwood, head chef at 1919, The Cottage in the Wood, says: “Afternoon tea has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity over recent years and is becoming a bit of a pastime for many who are on the lookout for a variety of experiences. In 2017, we will be launching a ‘Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea’, serving mouth-watering treats such as pork and stilton sausage rolls, crispy oyster with jalapeno mayonnaise and steak tartar Yorkshire pudding & horseradish paired with locally brewed British ales and stout, and to follow, chocolate and ale cake paired with whiskey.”
Accommodation lead-in price £60 pp B&B.

Hotel Industry
Adam Rowledge, general manager, Georgian House Hotel, says: “Following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, the impact of the National Living Wage increase and significant increase in business rates, hotels are going to have to get even smarter. Hotels will need to focus on retaining talent as it has been reported that we'll see a slowdown in the supply of EU workers due to exchange rate. To prosper in the long term, we're going to have to control costs better than ever but at the same time invest in the right places.”
Accommodation lead-in price £55 pp B&B. Meetings
Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association, says: “Next year recruitment is likely to remain hot on the agenda as it remains a huge concern for many of our members as we exit Europe. Post Brexit our sector has already seen a huge drop off in foreign nationals applying for roles and we should be looking at initiatives and sharing ideas to encouraging UK nationals to take up a career in the industry.”

Conference and Events

Rosa Davies, Westminster Venue Collection board member and events manager at Victory Services Club says: “As we move into 2017, I think that we will see an increase in event spaces throughout the country giving buyers an advantage in the negotiation of rates. This, I think, will be one of the main factors for both buyers and venues influencing the events sector in 2017. Additionally, with busy work schedules and delegates looking for faster solutions that deliver the same quality results, I think we will continue to see the rise of virtual meetings which is something all venues will have to adapt to in order to keep up-to-date with what delegates are looking for in the future.”

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