London to add 11 000 hotel rooms by 2020

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London skyline Photo Credit: Joshua Ng. Unsplash

London looks set to meet the call for a larger hotel inventory, with more than 11,000 hotel rooms expected to be added in the capital by 2020, according to a new report.

The 2018 London Hotel Development Monitor Report, published by JLL and London & Partners, shows that the capital is set to add 11,600 rooms by 2020 – outpacing a number of major European cities, including Paris, Berlin, Lisbon and Milan.

Tracy Halliwell, director of tourism, conventions and major events at London Convention Bureau, said: “It’s no surprise to see that hoteliers are showing a strong appetite for opening some of their best and most exciting properties in the capital. We’ve seen a number of different styles of hotel open across a range of price bands, providing even greater choice for visitors from all over the world.”

Separate research from the London Convention Bureau suggests an expanded inventory will be helpful, with the latest data revealing that bookings from North American meeting and event planners for 2018 are already up 20 per cent compared with the same time period last year.

Halliwell added: “We’re delighted to hear that London is continuing to attract large numbers of North American meetings and event planners and the London Convention Bureau looks forward to helping even more MICE buyers unlock all that London has to offer.”

London’s largest conference venue, ExCeL London, is also reporting its busiest year for meetings bookings from North America with a 50 per cent uplift in 2018. This follows the recent news that London was ranked as the top EMEA destination for meetings and event planners by the Cvent Top 25 MICE cities report and the Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) Top 10 EMEA cities for corporate meetings and events in 2019.

Bill Prosser, MD of destination management company The Competitive Edge, told meetings industry title M&IT: “We don’t see a great deal of overcapacity. The big change for inbound tourism has been so much more long haul than there used to be. This week we have a group coming in from Israel for 1,300 people on a four-day incentive. The issue is that we need hotels with large inventories. So it depends where the 11,000 rooms are going to be.”

Graham Craggs, MD of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, noted: “London is one of the most liquid hotel markets in Europe and a popular investment hotspot for both domestic and international investors. The weaker pound has attracted a variety of overseas hotel operators and investors to invest in hotel real estate.

“Despite political uncertainty, investors and hotel companies continue to view London as a key destination.”

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