New business opportunities for independent UK hotels and small hotel groups have emerged following the results of the latest UKinbound survey.

More than 56% of members work with independent and small hotel groups and 73% believe that a partnership with such propeties would be relevant to their business.

However, only 53% of tour operators and 36% of attractions consistently work with independent and small hotel groups.

The ability to book group accommodation was identified as a key factor when companies are considering working with these types of accommodation providers.

Sixty three per cent of all members and 79% of operator members said the ability to book groups would definitely enable partnerships.

An additional 61% stated that greater awareness of what is available and group discount rates would encourage them to work with these types of hotels.

Five additional ideas were also highlighted by members that would encourage them to work with independent and small group hotels:

• Train hotel managers to effectively engage with the travel trade
• Offer special rates for travel trade
• Consider including supplier product as added value offer to clients
• Actively seek to work with tour operators
• Work harder to have a stronger digital presence

UKinbound CEO Joss Croft said: “Our tour operator members frequently tell us about their difficulties with finding and securing enough good quality accommodation to satisfy the demand for their groups, particularly outside the big cities in the UK.

“As our survey has highlighted, one factor could be that these types of accommodation providers have a low awareness of how to work with the travel trade and the revenue and benefits it can bring.

“Our current accommodation members have benefited hugely from being a part of UKinbound and we are keen to try and secure more relationships with independent and small group hotels all over the UK to mutual benefit.”