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Over 100 UK hotels sign up to support HOSPA campaign

Hospitality Professionals Association's (HOSPA) #SleepOverToHelpTurnover campaign, has seen more than 100 hotels across the UK support it.

The campaign looks to generate public support for the hospitality industry during the ongoing pandemic, with hotels offering rewards and appreciative gestures to guests who continue to engage with them.

Following the campaign’s launch on 1 October, the hotels, which include several groups and a mix of 3, 4 and 5 star sites, have committed their support.

Some of the rewards that hotels are offering include up to 30% off the booking price, as well as complimentary upgrades, discounted meals, free drinks, free parking and more.

The campaign was launched to try and drive support for hospitality businesses as the industry faces hard-hitting coronavirus restrictions, combined with the traditional drop off in trade of autumn and winter that impacts many operators.

The #SleepOverToHelpTurnover campaign is viewed as a two-way relationship, and seeks to encourage guests to stay over to help hotels boost their turnover, with hotels in turn offering incentives to guests for doing so.

Jane Pendlebury, CEO of HOSPA, said: “Despite the very positive move from the Chancellor yesterday announcing the expansion of the job support scheme, which serves to help hotels under coronavirus restrictions, those that are open are still very much in need of continued custom if they’re to carry on trading.

'This is what #SleepOverToHelpTurnover is all about - encouraging people to carry on engaging with hotels, while offering rewards and appreciative gestures in return.”

Pendlebury continued, “We’ve seen a fantastic response from hotels, who have really embraced the campaign. To have so many sign up shows it’s clearly struck a chord. Equally, we’re seeing a wonderful response from the public, with many of the hotels involved seeing an increase in bookings off the back of it.

'For instance, the Royal Lancaster London has extended the length of its offer to run until April next year due to the high level of interest they’re seeing – which is great to hear.”

With the current tiered coronavirus system proving especially challenging, hotels are continuing to operate as best they can.

Pendlebury commented: “The tiered system is causing all sorts of issues, especially with restaurants in tier two areas – as other households can’t dine together. However, the thing about a hotel stay is that it’s largely self-contained. Couples, families and others from the same household can enjoy an overnight stay without having to mingle with other guests.

'You can even enjoy high quality food via room service if a socially distanced restaurant doesn’t appeal! Hotels have taken extensive measures to ensure they are following the appropriate anti-COVID guidance though, so guests can be reassured precautions will be in place even if they do opt for the restaurant.”

She added, “By enjoying a hotel stay and eating in the restaurant, guests will be providing a huge boost to hotels and the UK economy. Given more and more of us are working from home, a change in environment (as well as the opportunity to use up remaining holiday!) is ever more important.

'Of course though, people must be mindful of the current tiered system – if a hotel falls within the highest category, then they’ll likely have to close. Most hotels are mindful of this though, and will have flexible cancellations policies in place.”

Offers from hotels are listed on the HOSPA website and include groups and independent hotels such as Apex Hotels, Bespoke Hotels, Dalata Hotel Group, Amaris Hospitality, Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa in Warwickshire, Royal Lancaster London, Glenapp Castle in Scotland and more.

Other industry backers of the scheme include Profitroom, a leading SaaS supplier to the hospitality industry that focuses on enhancing hotel revenues and is one of HOSPA’s industry partners.

Samantha Williams, UK Market Owner at Profitroom, said, “Business on the books for November is down as consumer confidence is at an all time low.

'Despite the issues presented by coronavirus restrictions, this scheme has come just in time as we are seeing booking windows reduce from around 30 days in recent months, to just seven days in the past two weeks for stays in the domestic market.

:Many hotels are really struggling – with the latest rules and Government legislation and frequency of changes adding further burdens and challenges.”

In recent months, Profitroom has helped hotels save hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue via a voucher replacement scheme, which looks to replace cash refunds with monetary vouchers that can be redeemed at a future date.

Williams explained, “We launched the service in April, and we’ve seen more than £200,000 in revenue saved by hotels that are using it. Our data suggests bookings are down 34% on last year, with this figure only set to rise given further coronavirus restrictions.

'Voucher replacement helps hotels to keep hold of vital revenue at a crucial time, enabling them to boost liquidity and survive the ongoing issues until they’ve weathered the storm. Combining this with increased bookings from #SleepOverToHelpTurnover then should serve to give hotels that extra lifeline.”