With 2020 being the year of the ‘staycation’, now it is a fitting time to look at the growth in the hotel and resort construction sector in the UK and how time-lapse photography can effectively document the rise of domestic tourism.
With the population having little choice other than to stay in the UK this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and quarantines, it is good news that the UK leisure industry already has many construction projects in the pipeline and has been inspired to invest in more. Due to Brexit, the weakened pound, and a recession looming, plans had been taking shape to increase domestic tourism and to attract overseas visitors long before the pandemic even appeared. Showcasing hotel and resort construction through time-lapse videos is an excellent way to publicise such projects. With high-resolution Ultra HD footage, video can capture the large scale as well as the detailed intricacies involved in making such ambitious plans a reality.
An increase in city hotels
Large hotel chains are making the most of the rise in the UK’s popularity and the staycation boom. Many were already engaged in urban growth pre-COVID 19, with the most popular locations for hospitality construction being London, followed by Liverpool, Glasgow, and Manchester.
The Hilton Group is pushing ahead with many projects in the UK, as are Courtyard by Marriott and Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts. Large hotel chains regularly use time-lapse to capture the construction of their latest builds. This allows the public to be engaged in developments and helps to publicising projects, such as the construction of the Hilton Garden in Stoke-on-Trent.
Other chains, such as Premier Inn are not being left behind, as it has plans to expand rapidly and ambitiously, with a new £25m hotel in Westminster due to start on-site before the end of the year. It also has 20 other new hotel projects approved and other projects in development. With such exciting developments, Premier Inn has previously used time-lapse photography and videos to chart & promote its expansion.
Many uber-luxury urban hotel developments have also been given the go-ahead. Work is due to commence shortly on the exclusive £1 billion Rosewood hotel at 30 Grosvenor Square on the site of the former US embassy. Whilst in the City of London there are ambitious plans to create a five-star Citicap House Hotel and the art inspired Art’otel London is due to emerge in Hoxton.
The rise of urban-based wellness resorts
A fast-developing area in the leisure industry is luxury resorts within cities or on the edge of urbanised areas. Many luxury hotel chains are making a bid to capture this market as urban dwellers want to escape the stresses of cities but not travel far. This has led to a boom in wellness retreats and resorts close to built-up areas.
An ambitious £250 million 28-acre wellness resort by the Therme Group is due to start on-site in Manchester in 2021. It will be the UK’s first city-based wellbeing resort, with an undercover tropical environment complete with warm lagoons. The group is so optimistic of success that they have plans for similar resorts in Wales, Scotland, and London.
Therme UK Chief Operating Officer, James Mark explains the concept: “Now more than ever, people living in cities need opportunities to have relaxing and affordable wellbeing experiences close to home. Our concept, creating indoor biodiverse ecosystems that combine pure waters and natural environments, is already hugely popular in a number of European cities and it is a concept that will fundamentally improve the way we will live in the future.”
Due to this growing trend, other companies are following suit. For example, Fairmont is developing Windsor Park Hotel into a luxury wellness resort. Set in spacious country grounds it is located close to the capital. Another Place Hotels’ latest development is in Hampshire. After their success in the Lakes and Cornwall, the team has set their sights on this new market. Just an hour out of London, its aim is to be the perfect easy getaway for those heading out of London.
The development of other resorts
New resorts are not just about relaxation and wellness, as others in the planning stages are more fun or sports focussed resorts. A theme that seems to be emerging across all types is the need for resorts that can defy the UK weather.
The £500 million SnOasis Resort in Ipswich is primarily undercover and is designed to be a world class all year-round winter sports resort. The resort will offer 14 winter sports, including ski slopes, ice rink and rock climbing and there will be a large hotel, self-catering chalets and a hostel.
Up a notch again in budget and aspiration is the £3.5 billion London Resort. This is set to be one of the most ambitious theme park products ever in Europe and will be one of the largest construction projects in the continent. Uniquely 70% of the theme park will be undercover to protect against the British climate. The resort aims to be sustainable and will have two theme parks, a water park, hotels, shops, and restaurants.
The public will be excited to see the progress of such grand plans. The use of time-lapse can help keep the wider community up to date and to generate publicity for such projects. Day to day developments can even be monitored by the public by embedding a viewing portal onto the relevant website.
Merlin Entertainments regularly use time-lapse videos to showcase their projects and latest ride developments, such as The Wicker Man.
Even old-style traditional resorts are making a comeback through seaside regeneration projects. For example, the Blackpool Central Masterplan is aiming to attract more visitors with new hotels, restaurants, and even a world first, a ‘flying theatre’.
Smaller projects still, such as Waterhead Marine Park on the shores of Windermere have been given the go-ahead and many such developments are popping up around the country as the population looks to spend its money and leisure time closer to home.
2020 has offered the country confidence to invest in domestic tourism, and its own leisure and hospitality facilities. With such ambitious projects and exciting times for the future of the UK hotel and resort sector, it is a good moment to showcase such developments.
Why use time-lapse videos?
Time-lapse videos play an important role in showcasing, publicising, and promoting such unique tourism projects. Visually documenting the whole construction process with high-quality video has numerous benefits; to attract future investors and to get the public involved and inspired by these exciting and enticing developments.
As the UK’s leading time-lapse video company, we have the expertise and know-how to produce hotel and resort construction time-lapse videos to high specification requirements. Please contact us for more details and to discuss your next project.