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2018 a strong year for UK hospitality market despite Brexit jitters [Video]

by | Feb 12, 2019 | Events, News

TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR London delegates learn that UK’s hospitality market showed a strong performance in 2018, despite a slowdown in hotel projects over Brexit fears

The UK hotel market pointed to a robust performance in spite of hesitant progress over Brexit fears and the related uncertainty it brings, top-level hospitality delegates were told at the TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR event held in London’s Nobu Hotel Shoreditch on Feb 7.

All things networking and F&B

TOPHOTELPROJECTS kicked off 2019 in grand style with its first TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR event at the recently opened Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, bringing together the crème de la crème of the hospitality industry for an intense and engaging day of networking sessions, trendy presentations and market insights.

The day started off with some smart networking tips from communications stalwart Christopher Barrat from Greystone Consulting, before diving straight into the conference’s trademark “Change Table Sessions,” where each delegate had the opportunity to meet other attendees.

One of the day’s main topics was reinventing hotel F&B and how to maximise revenue from such spaces. Moderator Heleri Rande steered this panel discussion featuring industry big hitters such as Amir Nahai from Accor, Julian Catzeflis from Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, Martin Cahill from Rosewood London, Cyrus Todiwala from Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen and Holly Hallam from DesignLSM.

The consensus emerging from the stimulating discussion was: the correct approach is thinking of your establishment as a restaurant — as opposed to a “hotel restaurant”.

Striking the right balance between price, authenticity and convenience for hotel guests is key, else you risk losing them to hundreds of other speciality F&B joints outside the hotel.

2018 a good year for UK

Following a fascinating presentation on landscape architecture in hospitality by Andreas Brümmel from Brummel Landscape Architects, delegates were presented with a roundup of the UK hospitality market.

Although many local industry professionals noted a slowdown in hotel projects, attendees were surprised to learn that, actually, the UK had a pretty good year in 2018, and the statistics presented showed that the UK market is robust, positive and buoyant.

Occupancy countrywide sat around 80% last year, mainly in the branded supply sector. Occupancy rates increased in 2018, pointing to strength in the market despite fears about the uncertainty of Brexit.

Naturally, London drove the overall picture last year, with 2% growth in the UK after inflation. It was also noted that F&B was struggling more in the provinces, reinforcing the challenges that F&B outlets faced across the board.

Growth indicators

Although it was noted that there were delays in the project pipeline, with projects coming on and then getting put on hold, this didn’t have a huge effect on the year’s snapshot in terms of growth in the industry.

Most new development came from branded hotels, and, as you might expect, the biggest numbers came from big name brands.

There was growth across all metrics in UK hotel investment activity in 2018, and this was down to a healthy supply of large portfolio deals that were made last year.

2018’s portfolio deals were up on 2017, with deals typically larger in size, giving an average of 2000 keys.

All in all, 2018 was the best for the market in recent years, after 2005 and 2015.

Archiveda magic

When it came to the design competition Creative Spark, it would seem a touch of Archiveda magic well and truly mesmerized the star-studded list of delegates.

Latrace Principal & Founder Ines Klemm’s Hotel Arlberg Lech project took top honours in the competition, winning over the two other finalists: Residence Inn Ghent by Aedas, and LUX* North Male Atoll Maldives by Miaja Design Group.

Here is a video interview with Klemm right after her victory, where she shares her thoughts on winning, her personal highlights of the Hotel Arlberg Lech project, the magical touch of Archiveda, and her advice to fellow architects and designers on entering Creative Spark.

The next stop for the TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR is Singapore’s Swissôtel The Stamford on March 14. For more information on attending, speaking or sponsoring, please get in touch with TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.


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