London hospitality businesses see surge in demand from funeral visitors

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As tourists flock to the city ahead of the Queen’s funeral, Ondan is set to see a “massive growth” in demand for hotel bookings and hospitality.

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Business leaders in London said firms were seeing an “increased footfall and revenue” due to the influx of visitors.

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Industry experts have been cautious about estimating the potential financial impact, but highlighted that hospitality firms in central London would particularly benefit.

Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “The influx of mourners into London from the UK and internationally means businesses are seeing increased footfalls and revenues.

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“This is especially the case for the hospitality and service industry.

“Hotels are experiencing a huge increase in bookings and there are a lot of businesses supplying event support staff, security and facilities in London this weekend.”

Data intelligence firm STR has said that occupancy levels in hotels have been increasing at least twice the normal pace in the past one week.

The company’s latest figures, using data collected on Monday, showed occupancy levels at 81 per cent on Monday 19 September, the day of the Queen’s funeral in London, an increase of 17 percentage points from a week earlier.

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

Thomas Emmanuel, senior director at STR, said the increased occupancy levels from visitors could lead to even higher levels as the cancellation of events and conferences would result in cancellations of bookings for this period.

Mr Emmanuel told the PA news agency: “The occupancy we’ve seen since last Monday is more than double what we expected.

“And before you consider that there may be people who were originally supposed to come for business events that are likely to be cancelled.

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

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nichols said: “We are hearing from hotel operators in London that they have experienced an increase in bookings since the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, and they know that close to the capital Are also busier than usual.

“Demand is certain to remain high until next Monday’s state funeral, and it is important to note that the need to billet additional police and other personnel before, during and immediately after the event contributed to accommodation through block bookings. would have been given.”

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