Newcastle set for 800 new hotel rooms by 2016

Almost 800 new hotel rooms will be open in Newcastle by 2016 suggests a new report by accountants PwC

Proctor House, on Newcastle's Quayside, which is set to be turning into a hotel
Proctor House, on Newcastle's Quayside, which is set to be turning into a hotel

Visitors to the region will be spoiled for choice as a new report suggests Newcastle will see almost 800 new hotel rooms open for business by 2016.

The boom means the city’s accommodation options are expanding at one of the fastest rates outside of London.

And accountants PwC say the news is a positive sign that the North East economy is recovering.

Among the firm’s findings are that in every month apart from January the number of people staying in the region’s hotels has increased compared to last year.

It also claims that by next year, even with new budget hotels set to open, the average price of a room will hit £60 – the highest since 2009.

Sean Hamilton, a director at PwC Newcastle said he remained cautiously upbeat but increasingly optimistic about the outlook for the hotel market. But while historically he said there has been a close relationship between an increased average revenue per room and GDP growth, savvy consumers were still shopping around for the best deals.

“The UK is already on a recovery track but growth is likely to be slow,” he said.

“Consumers are pushing back against rising room rates, booking late in the hope of a bargain and using the pricing transparency of the internet to help them make a choice.

“Short lead times, a push for added value and the attitude that a better deal is to be had through booking late looks likely to continue.”

The PwC hotels forecast for 2014 identifies that the first of the new rooms in Newcastle are likely to be at the cheaper end of the market, such as Tune Hotel’s multi-million pound plans to convert the historic, Edwardian Proctor House in the heart of the city’s Quayside into a 104 room hotel. Part-funded by a Government scheme to bring derelict sites back into use, it will be the 13th hotel to be either built or planned in the city since 2011.

The cheapest rooms in the refurbished building, near the Crown Posada pub, have no windows, while TV, Wi-fi access and towels cost extra. However, all will have en suite bathrooms with power showers.

There are also plans for a 160-bed Hampton by Hilton hotel at Baron House, opposite Central Station.

More than 1,000 extra rooms have already been added to the city in the past two years, with a string of new hotels opening in the city such as the Sandman Signature on Gallowgate, DoubleTree by Hilton at Newcastle Airport, Ramada Encore on the Gateshead quayside, Hotel Indigo on Fenkle Street and Sleeperz on Westgate Road.

Exisiting hotel owners have expressed concerns that there are already too many hotel rooms in the city, and that with more being built it could lead to a price war – driving down costs for visitors, but ultimately leading to job losses.

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