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MEETING ROOM

Hospitality booking requests up 267%, but meeting bookings languish

The UK hospitality industry is demonstrating signs of recovery as it recorded a 267% increase in venue booking requests from April to July according to data from event booking platform, VenueScanner. However, only 2% of these enquiries were for meeting rooms.

The data, based on a sample of 2,221 venue booking requests, reveals that London is driving the recovery with 31% of bookings coming from the greater London area.

The recovery is also driven by an increased demand for private events as 89% of all 2,221 enquiries came from consumers directly, with just 11% coming from businesses. This is in stark contrast to data from the same period in 2019 where 47% of bookings came from private events, while 53% were from businesses.

Rebecca Kelly, CEO and founder of VenueScanner, said there was “no doubt” that hospitality has been one of the hardest industries in the UK. “It is really encouraging to see these early signs of recovery as consumer confidence starts to pick up again,” she said. “We need to ensure that appetite for corporate event space catches up with consumer demand to really drive this recovery.”

The data revealed that 19% of enquiries were for garden and outdoor space, 13% for restaurants and 7% for hotels, while just 2% were for meeting rooms. More than 600 enquiries were for birthday parties and 500 enquiries were for wedding receptions

Kelly added that while it had been encouraging to see the Government introduce initiatives such as the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme to support the hospitality sector’s recovery, the industry is crying out for more clarity on what types and what sizes of events can take place, and when. “Consumers and employers need consistent messaging, guidelines and timelines if these early signs of recovery are to continue,” she said.