Posted on September 29, 2016 by staff

Hotel sector must give customers “experiences”


A digital marketing expert has said Manchester’s hotels must create “experiences” to attract more overnight visitors to the city.

Jamie Watson, managing partner of award-winning Manchester-based marketing agency Pixel8, said “a large proportion of visitors to Manchester are day visitors”.

Watson will speak at BusinessCloud’s business breakfast on the future of Manchester’s hotel sector on Thursday 13th October.

“A number of challenges exist within the hotel sector, and specifically within Manchester,” he said.

“Within the leisure market, how do hotels encourage more visitors to stay overnight?

“We see there being an opportunity to sell experiences rather than hotel rooms: for example, Christmas shopping weekend including a complimentary wrapping service.”

Watson, who has more than 10 years’ experience working within the sector for some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing hotel brands, also outlined how some hotels are meeting the challenges of generating increased revenue.

Pixel8 managing partner Jamie Watson“Within the business market, there’s been a shift from the traditional meeting space to more innovative and creative meeting spaces,” he said.

“Within food and beverage, some hotels are successfully creating destination restaurant propositions, for example The French at the Midland Hotel.”

These are exciting times for Manchester’s hotel sector.

INNSIDE By Melia Manchester, Motel One, Hotel Gotham, King Street Townhouse and Hotel Football all opened last year while The Lowry underwent a multimillion-pound tranformation and Hilton Hotels, EasyJet, Travelodge and the Topland Group have announced plans for 2017.

Hotels also form a key part of Allied London’s £1 billion St John’s masterplan and Gary Neville’s and Ryan Giggs’ St Michael’s development.

Despite the glut of openings, Manchester enjoyed record occupancy rates as the city’s visitor economy continues to go from strength to strength on the back of the popularity of Manchester City and Manchester United.

What do you think the future of Manchester’s hotel sector looks like? Is the future niche or corporate? Can Manchester’s visitor economy sustain even more hotels?

These will be some of the questions discussed at BusinessCloud’s hotel breakfast discussion, sponsored by Percipient and chaired by award-winning journalist Chris Maguire.