UK urban hotel recovery out-performs rural hotels in June 2021

By Katrina Blunden July 8th 2021 Benchmarking
Time to read:  2 min

While hotel stays in June might not have included international visitors, corporate or MICE business,  urban hotels in the UK saw some of their most positive website performances since the start of the pandemic, fuelled by the May half-term holiday as well as the full un-locking of the hotel industry from the middle of May.


Domestic leisure-driven demand drives UK city hotel recovery

Across the UK as hotels were allowed to re-open, first Scotland at the end of April, and the rest of the UK in the middle of May, leisure demand was already picking up. Website sessions recorded by UK urban hotels peaked in the week between 17th and 23rd May and again between 31st May and 6th June as roadmaps were published and restrictions begun to ease.

In June 2021, average urban hotel website traffic was 413% up YOY with transactions being 664% up compared to last summer. The average rural hotel traffic meanwhile was up 205% and revenue up 178%. Urban hotels are quickly closing the gap on their rural counterparts from last summer when restrictions were much tighter than in regional areas around the UK. 

Urban v Rural UK Hotels

In June 2020, rural hotels in the UK enjoyed 68% more transactions than urban hotels, and while the average number of monthly transactions has increased YOY for rural hotels from 45 to 130 a massive 53% the percentage increase enjoyed by urban hotels last month compared to June 2020 was a staggering 146%.

UK city hotels outperforming Europe

As Europe prepares for two of its traditionally busiest months in July and August, June’s European city hotel performance lagged behind that of the UK thanks to a predominantly domestic leisure driven demand energising the rebound here. Re-opening of the hotel industry across the UK (excluding Ireland where different restrictions applied) was met by pent-up demand from leisure travellers as well as additional demand from families wanting to take advantage of the half-term school holidays with limited options for taking breaks to Europe with few countries represented on the UK’s green travel lists.

Average hotel website sessions for city hotels in the UK during the month of June was 41% higher than city hotels in Europe. Similarly average website revenue was 10% higher for UK city hotels and number of transactions was also 8% higher than European city hotels enjoyed.

While plans for the UK to add more European and International countries to a small list of destinations on green lists for travellers from the UK, hotels across the four nations can perhaps look forward to similar results in July and August with a summer full of staycations. To measure your hotel website performance, sign up for our free Hotel Benchmark reports here.

Katrina Blunden

Katrina has been working in the hospitality industry since 1993, more recently at Hotel Benchmark, uncovering insight from a wealth of data.