Boom in hotel bookings as Norwich the place to be


6:00 a.m. on October 2, 2021

6:44 am on October 5, 2021

Norwich hotels are jam-packed as people flock to the city for mini-breaks.

October is a similar picture to September for hoteliers with people keen to make the most of what’s on offer in Norwich.

The St Giles House hotel in the city center is among the places where we see an influx of guests with only one single room currently available.

General manager Liza Dunnell said the hotel is booked until the end of the year and many people want to stay on vacation.

Liza Dunnell, General Manager of the St Giles House Hotel
– Credit: Sonya Duncan

“We are reaching pre-pandemic levels,” she said.

“After the restrictions, everyone now wants to come out and regain some normalcy after being locked up for so long.”

Dunston Hall also had “an exceptionally busy few months” with October continuing the theme.

Managing Director David Graham said the length of stay has dropped from an average of 1.8 days to 2.8 days, which he says shows the limits of international travel.

David Graham, Dunston Hall, Norwich

David Graham, Director of Dunston Hall
– Credit: Archant

Mr Graham added: “We have enjoyed midweek golf vacations due to the unavailability of travel to Portugal and Spain as there are fewer flights.

“There is still a lot of pent-up demand after the leisure travel lockdown. ”

Clive Harvey himself runs the grade II listed Gothic House bed and breakfast just off Magdalen Street.

Mr Harvey only had three days off in September and saw visitors from all over the UK, as well as a couple from America.

Clive Harvey, 71, pictured outside his Gothic House B&B just off Magdalen Street

Clive Harvey at the Gothic House in Norwich
– Credit: Victoria Pertusa

He said: “I’m amazed at the amount of bookings. I don’t usually take passing exchanges, but I’ve found over the past month that a lot of people want to stay tonight or tomorrow.

“I have been monumentally busy and this month seems just as busy as September.”

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director of the Norwich Business Improvement District [BID] said the city’s attendance is down overall from pre-pandemic levels due to hybrid work and fewer people in the office.

But he said the number of visitors was increasing with the Visit Norwich website up 30% from September 2019.

Mr Gurney said: “This is very positive for the city as people are spending more in the economy at large, not just on hotels.”

A popular destination to be proud of

Norwich BID found Fine City to be in the top five markets for most visited cities, ranking fourth on the list behind coastal destinations like Brighton.

And Chris Scargill, tourism and recreation specialist for Larking Gowen, said Norwich and Norfolk are proving popular destinations with visitors keen to enjoy the outdoors after the closures.

Chris Scargill, Tourism Partner of Larking Gowen

Chris Scargill, Tourism Partner of Larking Gowen
– Credit: Larking Gowen

Scargill said: “We are very fortunate that Norwich is a central location and people use it as a hub to travel north and east to Norfolk, the Broads or the Brecks.

“One of the post-pandemic trends is that people are hungry for fresh air and Norfolk is providing spaces for that. People see it as an attraction.”

He also believes that Dippy the Dinosaur of Norwich Cathedral was the key to bringing more people to the city.

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