Hospitality solutions provider Agilysys released the results of its study on the UK hospitality industry in January 2024.

Canvassing the opinion of 1,000 UK consumers who have travelled frequently in the last year, the study revealed that 85% have made changes to their holiday plans in response to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Almost half (44%) of UK consumers agree their leisure spending has decreased in the last year, with a third (36%) saying it has stayed the same, while two in five (41%) of respondents claimed they had travelled less.

Guests also cited taking fewer holidays (38%), shorter breaks (18%) or opting for staycations (16%) as personal strategies for combating the cost-of-living crisis.

UK hotels need to attract loyal guests

Guest retention has also suffered, as only 27% of UK travellers have rebooked a hotel in the last year, according to the study.

When asked what would make them more likely to rebook a venue, respondents who did not rebook the same hotel cited factors including reducing wait times across touchpoints, personalisation and a strong loyalty programme.

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For travellers who did rebook, tailored touchpoints and exceptional staff were cited as key reasons.

Agilysys regional director Matthew Prosser highlights that consumer economic concerns have escalated the need for hotels and resorts to provide a seamless guest experience through every touchpoint.

He explained: “While some hoteliers think this can be achieved through personal high-touch service alone, research shows the most impactful way to increase guest retention and returns is to combine technology advances with personal and attentive service so that guests are surrounded by choice, convenience and personalised encounters.

Improving guest retention by as little as 5% has been estimated to increase profits by as much as 25%, so it is essential that hoteliers understand why guests are not returning to their venues so they can address the problem.”

Hospitality Professionals Association chief executive Jane Pendlebury added: “Loyalty is a major player in hospitality success and that aspect can be enhanced by clever technology.”