Welcome to the fourth edition of Hospitality Matters, our regular bulletin for the hospitality industry. CMS has recently hosted the second annual Hotel Owners Conference in conjunction with Lloyds Bank and BDO. At this event, it was revealed that there is perhaps a glimmer of good news for the UK economy and the hotel industry.
Trevor Williams, the Chief Economist for Lloyds Banking Group, identified a number of economic early indicators that he believed showed the UK to be on an upwards path, including an increase in employment. To some extent his views were vindicated both by the subsequent unexpected uptick in GDP announced recently and the continuing good figures for London’s hotel market in September.
The theme of the event was about sustaining the momentum generated by the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics and exploiting the increased international profile that Britain has achieved over the summer. It has become apparent that whilst the Olympics had a massive positive impact on London hotel trading over August, the rest of the country suffered from the displacement effect. However, the hope is that the efforts put into international advertising and promotion will boost the wider British hotel economy over the next 12 months and beyond from increased inward tourism and a boost in the ‘staycation’ market.
In addition to Trevor’s views, Michael Levie, COO of CitizenM, made it clear that in addition to simply relying on a general economic upturn, success can be achieved through innovation by bringing to the market a product that is extremely attractive to a design-conscious post-austerity generation.
At the recent Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester, Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, the new Minister for Sport & Tourism, outlined the government’s plans to increase funds available to support VisitBritain over the next twelve months to capitalise on the Olympic effect.
Our sincere hope is that these efforts will pay off and, combined with sustained (but probably still very slow) recovery in GDP, the news for the wider British hospitality industry will be only good in the short to medium term.