ONE of the UK's top hotel retailers has predicted The Cotswolds – arguably the jewel in the crown of the UK tourist industry – will benefit from highly favourable exchange rates and a new generation of staycationers.

Colliers International hotels director Peter Brunt, who has sold numerous Cotswolds hotels, some several times over, said: "The popularity of the Cotswolds has never wavered and sales remained steady even through the downturn. Since the end of the recession sales have climbed further and few of the pubs or bed & breakfasts in the crucial A40, A44 and A46 triangle which are offered for sale are on the market for long.

“Although we have always enjoyed our deliberately high profile in the area we also operate on a slightly less obvious level, putting buyers and owners in touch for off-market introductions.”

In the last six months alone, Colliers International has sold Burford House, the Inn for All Seasons and the Highway Inn in Burford, Butlers Guest House in Cheltenham, Fox House in Stow-on-the-Wold; the New Inn at Coln St Aldwyns, the Horse & Groom at Upper Oddington and the Evesham Hotel.

Overseas visitors have returned in numbers, taking advantage of favourable exchange rates. On the flipside, UK residents looking at ruinous exchange rates when they venture abroad are once again looking at holidays and weekends away in the UK.

Mr Brunt has a number of tips for purchasers looking to run a successful hospitality business in the Cotswolds. He said: “Make sure that the website is up to scratch as many prospective customers scout the internet before they set out. Does it sell the business and make you want to go? First Impressions are all important. A smart external appearance and tidy car park are essential if you aren’t going to lose custom to neighbouring businesses. Similarly, a good welcome from the host or front of house team makes the customer feel immediately wanted.

“If you’ve got a big beautiful fire place, use it – even in summer. A crackling hearth in winter is guaranteed to make you want to linger.

“Food and drink need to be locally sourced, superbly cooked and presented and seasonal where possible and above all, aim for the ‘Ah! Factor’ – that come back soon feeling that good pubs give you as you leave.”