London hotel companies are seeing increased demand from funeral visitors

London hotel companies are seeing increased demand from funeral visitors

Members of the public queue on London's South Bank to see the Queen lying in the state (Ian West / PA) (PA Wire)

Members of the public queue on London’s South Bank to see the Queen lying in the state (Ian West / PA) (PA Wire)

London is set to see a “huge surge” in hotel bookings and demand for hospitality as visitors flock to the city ahead of the Queen’s funeral.

London business leaders said companies are seeing an “increase in visitor numbers and revenue” due to the influx of visitors.

Industry experts have been cautious in estimating the potential financial impact, but have pointed out that hospitality businesses in central London will particularly benefit.

Richard Burge, chief executive officer of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “The influx of mourners to London from across the UK and internationally means businesses are seeing an increase in visitor numbers and revenue. .

“This is especially true of the hospitality and service sector.

“Hotels are seeing a huge increase in bookings and there are many companies providing support staff for events, security and services in London this weekend.”

Data intelligence firm STR said occupancy levels in hotels have grown at least double than usual in the past week.

The company’s latest data, using data collected on Monday, showed occupancy levels of 81% in London for the day of the Queen’s funeral, Monday 19 September, which she said reflected a 17 percentage point increase from a week earlier. .

The data also highlighted 85% occupancy on Thursday, 81% Friday, 84% Saturday and 76% Sunday.

Thomas Emmanuel, senior director of STR, said the increase in visitor occupancy levels could be even higher as the cancellation of events and conferences will have resulted in reduced bookings for the period.

Emmanuel told the PA news agency: “The increase in employment we have seen since last Monday is double what we would expect.

“And that’s before considering that there may have been people originally scheduled to attend corporate events that likely would have been canceled.

“Any high-demand event for the hotel industry will generate revenue and come after these companies have been significantly impacted by Covid.”

UKHospitality Managing Director Kate Nicholls said: “We are hearing from hotel operators in London that they have seen an increase in bookings since last Thursday’s announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and we are aware that people close to the capital are also busier than usual.

Demand will certainly remain high until next Monday’s state funeral, and it is important to note that the need to accommodate police and other extra personnel before, during and immediately after the event will have contributed to this, blocking reservations for accommodation. . “

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