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"The worst is behind us" - BDRC
The UK's hotel industry is showing signs of recovery with some growth expected next year, market research group BDRC Continental said.
"The worst is behind us is the consensus view," said BDRC's chief executive Dr Crispian Tarrant.
Speaking at the BDRC Hotel Insight Forum this week, Dr Tarrant outlined expectations for the coming year based on market trends over the past 12 months.
"The present position, even though more positive, remains very weak by historic standards and the situation is fragile so recovery could be disrupted," Dr Tarrant said.
He said that 2010 would bring modest growth but only on current depressed market levels and not across the industry as a whole.
The report claimed that the effect of the recession on consumers had "not been as tumultuous nor all embracing" as thought.
Dr Tarrant added that dealing with the recession required a "detailed understanding of what value means to the consumer."
"A key marketing task for 2010 has to be identifying and stimulating the receptive consumer segments," the report said.
"Consumers have been re-learning their ‘bargain hunting' skills and value has to be a key mantra."
Dr Tarrant said small and mid-sized businesses would see a ‘U'-shaped trading recovery rather than a sharper ‘V'-shaped bounce-back.
The report said the hotel sector would lag behind any recovery in the overall UK economy.
"We're going to stick our necks out a bit and say we think this will be evident by Q2 next year," Dr Tarrant added finally.
The report examined UK GDP as an economic indicator and highlighted a steadying in the rate of decline over the last four months.
Dr Tarrant said 30 UK economic institutes had forecast percentage growths in UK GDP over the whole of 2010.