New hotel openings 'to continue into 2012'
New hotels in the UK will continue to open in 2012 despite the recession, high VAT rates and planning problems causing some projects to be delayed or cancelled this year, according to a new report.
According to the annual publication of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), British Hospitality: Trends and Developments 2011, 36 per cent fewer hotel rooms have opened in 2011 than predicted at the beginning of the year.
Some 106 hotels have opened so far this year (11,800 rooms), significantly lower than the 18,838 rooms previously forecast.
"This year's actual total suggests the scale of the difficulties in fund-raising as well as in planning problems and developers going into administration," the report states.
"However, only some of these projects have been lost; our forecast for 2012 – 21,500 – includes many of the projects postponed from 2011 with some even moving to 2013."
BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said if the hotel sector is to grow then a number of barriers need to be removed, like the VAT rate.
"This is making the UK uncompetitive with much of Europe," she said.
"The BHA is the only organisation leading discussions on this with the government and we believe they will bear fruit in the long-term."
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