Tourism and Heritage Strategy

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

8. Visitor accommodation

The current stock of visitor accommodation in Gravesham is as made up of the following:

Current accomodation stock in Gravesham
Accommodation Type Total bedrooms
Hotels 370
Bed and Breakfast, Guest Houses 44
Pubs and inns 24
Self catering (including Airbnb = 57 as of August 2020) 78
Total 516

Recent trends have shown the decline in national standard grading schemes, with their replacement by customer online reviews; additional hotel development with an expansion of the Premier Inn at Woodlands Park and a new Travelodge at Coldharbour Road (61 bedrooms) which opened in 2019. The rise of Airbnb accommodation has seen the introduction of approximately 57 bedrooms in Gravesham, with 50% of those being single rooms as opposed to multi-bedroom properties.

The changes taking place and greater options on offer when it comes to bookable visitor accommodation are having a dramatic impact on visitor preferences and behaviour and in some circumstances visitor experiences are being promoted alongside accommodation bookings.

There has also been growth in visitor accommodation surrounding the Borough, notably with the new Spring River Ebbsfleet (Marstons – 104 bedrooms).

The Ebbsfleet Garden City is accommodating some additional visitor accommodation adjoining the Borough to the west, currently in the form of pub/hotels. The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation Implementation Plan identifies 45,750 sm of hotel development over the duration of the plan.

Proposals for London Resort – “A world-class, sustainable, next generation entertainment resort” - have become clearer through the recent consultation (August 2020) as part of the Development Planning Order process.

In matters of accommodation provision it comprises the following:

  • Four hotels providing family, upmarket, luxury and themed accommodation totaling up to 3,550 suites.
  • Up to 500 apartments for London Resort workers, typically consisting of 4-6 bedrooms and shared kitchen and lounge facilities.

Hotels report great variations in their occupancy, albeit figures are difficult to come by on a consistent basis.

Traditionally, hotel demand has been focused alongside the A2 corridor, but the prospect for this to change with greater interest in the Town Centre, including proposals for an 88 bed hotel in St George’s Phase 2, benefiting from the connectivity that Highspeed 1 brings the Town.

Ensuring the quality of visitor accommodation in the Borough remains an issue with the decline in national grading systems. The Kent Charter was set-up in 2012 to create the opportunity for accommodation to sign-up to local standards, and whilst a number of Gravesham businesses have signed-up to this, it has not been widely adopted.

The following priority actions for visitor accommodation have been identified during the strategy period:

  • Participation in the Kent Hotel Accommodation Study being undertaken by CCCU,
  • Visit Kent and Locate in Kent to identify the potential for visitor accommodation growth.
  • Support new visitor accommodation across the board, especially hotel development within the Town Centre.
  • Seek to address gaps in other forms of visitor accommodation, including glamping, camping and caravanning, especially where that supports other ambitions within this strategy.
  • Work with local accommodation providers to encourage provision of quality visitor accommodation and where possible sign-up to the Kent Charter.
  • Assess the impacts that residential development and new hotel development in the Ebbsfleet Garden City and proposals for London
    Resort and understand how these will affect scope for investment in additional visitor accommodation in Gravesham.
  • Explore opportunities for business/conference tourism associated with Gravesham’s enhanced connectivity.

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