MORE boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts are needed in Salisbury as there is a “clear gap”, the latest hotel and visitor accommodation survey has revealed.

The recent study conducted by business consultant Hotel Solutions found that there are 198 accommodation spaces in the city with just over 2,900 bed spaces, however Salisbury’s guest house and B&B numbers have reduced.

The hotel scene is meeting market expectations, however the B&B and guest house sector has been described by the report as showing “little evidence of excellence”, adding these establishments were the most affected by the nerve agent attacks in 2018.

The study, funded by VisitWiltshire and Wiltshire Council, described this as a “clear gap” in Salisbury’s tourism market, adding there is a “clear shortage of all types of accommodation” between April and October.

The report also claims that customers were being turned away from hotels during the busier side of the year, May until September.

It has been recommended that 4-star and 3-star hotels across the city expand, upgrade or rebrand, and developers have shown an interest in launching a new youth hostel, following the closure of the only one in 2015.

According to the report there is a “good and growing supply” of accommodation in rural places surrounding Salisbury, however areas including Wilton and Downton have the potential for new and upgraded establishments.

“Amesbury has a good supply of hotel accommodation for a town of its size,” it added.

Following the findings, David Andrews, VisitWiltshire director, said the survey shows there is “significant potential” for accommodation offers to grow in Salisbury without impacting already existing businesses.

He added: “We appointed Hotel Solutions as a way of getting an accurate up-to-date view of Salisbury’s current accommodation offering and to identify areas that offer growth potential.

“From the analysis undertaken, it’s evident that there is a clear market need for additional hotel and visitor accommodation of all types and standards in and around the city, to meet.”

Leader of Wiltshire Council and cabinet member for economic development, Philip Whitehead, added: “Salisbury is well placed for further development and investment, and it has a new Central Area Planning Framework to provide fresh impetus to the growth of the city.

“This accommodation study has identified a number of opportunities waiting for entrepreneurs in the accommodation sector to enter the market, and we have a dedicated team to support private sector investors in the city.

“We are open to business investment in Salisbury and welcome people to join us.”