Extra budget and luxury hotels would boost south Warwickshire’s tourism industry, says industry expert
More rooms are needed for tour groups and those searching for a luxury stay
Extra budget and luxury hotels would give a boost to the south Warwickshire’s tourism industry according to an industry expert.
And her call has been backed by Stratford District Council’s portfolio holder responsible for bringing more visitors to the area.
Helen Peters, chief executive of Shakespeare’s England, the official tourism body for the region, was speaking at today's (Wednesday's) overview and scrutiny meeting of Stratford District Council.
She said: “We are suffering at both ends. We are lacking in the tour group type accommodation and then, when you are looking for those more upmarket conferences, we don’t have that five star hotel either - and neither does Birmingham.
“A lot of groups are looking for trade rates which are lower than a lot of the hoteliers in Stratford wish to offer because we are an extremely expensive place to stay and even on a wet Wednesday in November, a lot of the hotels will already be full because of the draw of the RSC with domestic visitors.
“You can be paying £120 for a Travelodge and tour operators just can’t afford that - it’s madness. Those people might come for three hours and whizz around Stratford but they will stay elsewhere. Because they are not staying overnight they are not having a drink, shopping or using the local restaurants. We need more accommodation at that level.”
She explained that although the number of visitors to the area had dropped dramatically due to the pandemic, she was hopeful hotels would survive.
She added: “There may be the odd casualty but the good news is that many of them are chains. One may be doing well and another more challenged so hopefully the group will survive. The places that will be more in jeopardy are our smaller hotels and B&Bs.”
Cllr Matt Jennings (Con, Henley) added his support to the call for more hotels.
Speaking at the same meeting he said: “The more the better as far as I’m concerned but we have to put them somewhere and we can only make judgements on what is presented to us. Hotels are business-led and they will go where they can make the most money.
“There are buildings which could be used, for instance the BHS building in Stratford, and we have been in discussion with various hotel groups. All we can do is facilitate things.
“When hoteliers come to us we need to be sympathetic to their demands but it is a planning decision.”