Putting quality into hospitality

The article by Branwell Johnson on the UK hotel industry (MW May 16) and its efforts to reverse the decline in occupancy levels is totally wide of the mark in focussing on marketing.

Sure, marketing has a part to play in the sense that it drives a proposition and is responsible for building brands.

But before you can talk about issues such as marketing, advertising campaigns or branding, you have to have a decent product that is sold at a reasonable price, so that once people visit you they want to come back of their own accord.

Whether they like it or not, UK hotels have a massive product problem, and are ridiculously overpriced, as virtually anyone who travels across European capitals will tell you. All the work we have done with German tourists – Germany is Britain’s number two tourist market after the US – who have visited Britain recently reveal they are totally disillusioned with UK hotels, and regard them as overpriced and poor quality. Would they go back? No, not unless they have to. And they tell their friends not to bother with London and the UK as a holiday destination until things improve.

Until the UK hotel industry comes to terms with its product/ price equation, it will continue to suffer. Trying to sell rooms that are often extremely small, shabbily furnished, have tiny bathrooms with showers that don’t tend to work well isn’t a good idea. And who in all honesty needs a Corby Trouser press or, for that matter, a full English breakfast?

Edward Appleton

Managing director


London, WC1

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here