Best Western to consider turning hotels into temporary hospitals

By Stefan Chomka

- Last updated on GMT

Best Western CEO Rob Paterson
Best Western CEO Rob Paterson

Related tags Coronavirus Hotel

Hotel group Best Western Great Britain says it will consider turning hotels into temporary hospitals if the NHS needs additional bed space during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The hotel group, which is the largest independent group in Great Britain, will discuss the move this week as it meets with its members across the country.

“We are in unprecedented territory so we would be willing to take unprecedented steps to support the national effort,” says Rob Paterson, chief executive officer at Best Western Great Britain.

“If the NHS wants additional bed space, and we can partner with other companies to provide the right medical equipment and supplies and we can do it safely, then we would be willing to start having those conversations immediately. Whatever we can do to help.”

The hotel group says that the Coronavirus outbreak has hit at what was looking like a positive period for room bookings. The group says it has seen growth in year-on-year bookings for January and that bookings by departure month for January and February are also up.

The trend since the end of February has been the opposite, it says, with cancellations for February to 7 March having significantly increase over the previous period. Bookings by departure for March to July are also showing varying degrees of decline, it adds, which it says is reflective of the trend across the industry.

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