Westlife Tour's Impact on Future Hotel Demand
Travelling to 12 cities across the U.K. and Ireland between 22 May and 6 July, Westlife’s 2019 tour had some hotel markets feeling like they were flying without wings and others wishing the concerts would raise them up a little higher. But how did future demand build across key markets as the events drew near?
We tracked the future bookings of five U.K. and Ireland markets eight weeks out from their most in-demand date in that city.
Dublin’s story started earlier than the rest, with forward demand rising from 68% at 12 weeks out to 76% when we look at eight weeks from the concert.
8 weeks out
With Dublin putting clear daylight between itself and the other Westlife-host markets, Belfast and Glasgow were the other success stories eight weeks out from the event, registering forward demand levels of 72% and 71%, respectively. Manchester (55%) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne (49%) were yet to see a significant uplift.
7 weeks out
A week without an uplift in Glasgow saw Belfast move ahead, reaching 78% forward demand with seven weeks to go. Dublin remains ahead of Glasgow and has reached parity with Belfast, reporting 78% forward demand. After a shaky start, Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne registered declines.
6 weeks out
The most notable movement occurred in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as it returned to the forward demand levels of eight weeks out. A marginal increase was reported in Glasgow, as Manchester and Belfast remained the same.
5 weeks out
Dublin reported a 5% lift in an otherwise consistent week, as all other markets saw fluctuations no greater than 3%.
4 weeks out
In a week of little movement, Dublin (86%) and Glasgow (75%) registered 2% and 3% lifts in forward demand, respectively. Belfast (80%) and Newcastle-upon Tyne (50%) experienced slight decreases in occupancy, just 4 weeks out from the event.
3 weeks out
A week of growth saw Dublin aiming towards the 90% mark for forward demand, while the largest increases were felt in Manchester (rising from 57% to 64%) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne (moving from 50% to 56%).
2 weeks out
A week of increases across the board was best represented by an 8% lift in Glasgow, driving occupancy to 87% with 2 weeks remaining. Manchester recorded a 5% increase, while Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Belfast each enjoyed 4% increases. Dublin’s marginal increase (3%) meant that occupancy reached 92% 2 weeks prior to the event.
1 week out
Glasgow became the week’s biggest winner, once again, as a 5% lift pushed occupancy to 93%. Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Belfast demonstrated consistency in their growth, with 5%, 4% and 3% increases, respectively. Dublin’s slow and steady approach saw a 3% lift that drove occupancy to 95%.
Week of the event
Newcastle-upon-Tyne was easily the greatest success in the week leading up to the event, as occupancy jumped 13% (from 65% to 78%). Manchester and Belfast recorded 7% and 5% increases, respectively, while Glasgow reached 97% occupancy. Dublin experienced no movement, as future demand remained at 94% during the event week.
Glasgow’s final occupancy of 98% highlighted the effect of hosting such high-profile events, with fans flocking in droves to the 13,000 capacity SSE Hydro arena.
Final occupancy figures
Glasgow’s final occupancy of 98% highlighted the effect of hosting such high-profile events, with fans flocking in droves to the 13,000 capacity SSE Hydro arena. The market’s largest increase occurred at 3 weeks out, demonstrating a desire to book earlier in comparison to the large jumps witnessed in other markets.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for example, enjoyed its largest increase in the week prior to the concert. This capped an impressive 8 weeks of growth during which occupancy rose from 49% to 83%. After losing out to neighbouring Sunderland to host a number of recent gigs, including the Spice Girls, perhaps Newcastle’s appetite for events sharpened.
Manchester reported 7% increases at both 4 weeks and 1 week out, as it achieved a total occupancy increase of 30% between 8 weeks out and the final figure. Belfast experienced gradual growth and, from its starting point of 72%, ended the period with 94% occupancy.
Dublin’s final occupancy matched Glasgow’s 98% and represented a 3% increase in the final few days before the event. Given that Dublin was the only market that failed to register an increase between 1 week out and the event week, there is an indication that attendees were prepared to arrange their accommodation at the last minute.