60% of consumers prefer staying in a pub to anywhere else

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Accommodation info: research surveyed both consumers and operators on the pubs with rooms market (image: Getty/structuresxx)
Accommodation info: research surveyed both consumers and operators on the pubs with rooms market (image: Getty/structuresxx)

Related tags Accommodation Property Finance

Six in 10 consumers who have stayed in a pub in the past two years would prefer to stay overnight in the on-trade rather than other types of accommodation for the same spend and location, new research has revealed.

This figure was up from just over half (53%) in 2019, the study showed. It also outlined how 60% of consumers stated the main reason to stay in a pub is it represents good value for money.

Some 59% of those who have not stayed in a pub before said they would consider it if they knew where to look.

The majority of those surveyed (94%) stated customer reviews had a role to play in their decision making (up from 50% in 2019) while 90% said the pub’s own website positively influenced their decision to book although 51% end up booking through a third party.

The research was released by online promotor of pubs with rooms Stay in a Pub and conducted by from CGA by NIQ and supported by Visit England and Visit Britain.

It included two groups – one of more than 3,500 consumers who had stayed in a pub at least one and the other was 177 licensees and operators of pubs with rooms across the UK.

More than three quarters (79%) said official ratings and accreditations were important but just under a third (31%) of surveyed operators have them.

Further understand the market

Over half (59%) of operators were anticipating growth in accommodation revenue and 62% were planning room refurbishments in the next 12 months.

Stay in a Pub founder Paul Nunny said: “The purpose of the research was to further understand the UK stay market, inform the sector and drive ongoing strategic development.”

Those surveyed were asked for their main reason they chose to stay in a pub and 60% of consumers revealed value for money was the driver.

Some 47% put it down to the character of the buildings and 44% said the atmosphere. The 2019 Pub Accommodation ​report found 90% of consumers said they would choose pub accommodation over alternatives as they thought it was cheaper.

CGA by NIQ senior consumer research manager Jenn Knott said: “Wider CGA research confirms consumers don’t equate value for money as the ‘cheap’ option but something that is high quality and worth the cost, indicating investment in accommodation quality has led to a shift in consumer perception.”

Stay in a Pub CEO Sophie Braybrooke the fact 59% of those who haven’t stayed in a pub said they were likely to do so but didn’t know where to book demonstrated the need for sites like Stay in a Pub to support she sector.

Direct bookings

She added: “Promoting the reasons to stay in a pub through consumer brand and search marketing campaigns drives quality traffic to our website and therefore to the pubs listed.

“These referrals, an average of 50,000 per month, are potential customers who are specifically looking to stay in a pub supporting direct book and customer acquisition strategies.”

“Once people try it, they see the benefits of staying in a pub and are very likely to visit again. In promoting direct bookings, pubs own these customers with the potential for building loyalty and repeat business.”

The research highlighted the importance of an online presence as 37% of consumers using search engines to plan their next UK stay, 32% online travel agents and 19% online review sites.

However, 67% of operators use social media to promote their pubs but just 4% of consumers claimed to use this method when researching where to stay.

Nunny said: “At a time when the hospitality sector is feeling the pain in so many areas, the pub accommodation market is demonstrating investment in quality and consumer experience has changed consumer perceptions of staying in a pub and buoyed this important third income stream.”

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