Demand for hotels set to rise in 2014, as long as operators adapt

A new report by global hotel consultancy HVS London has revealed that hotels across the UK are set to experience a rise in demand from guests over the next 12 months, as long as they adapt to modern needs.

With access to credit becoming more available and there being recent improvements to transactional activity, 2014 looks positive for hoteliers. This will be bolstered by the 360 projects currently ongoing across Europe, adding 60,000 rooms, while an extra 450 are at the planning stage at the moment. Most of these are located in the UK, Russia, Germany and Turkey. The UK has especially led the market in its alternative choices, such as serviced apartments and boutique hotels.

HVS’s chairman Russell Kett said: “There has been much talk about the growth of the budget end of the market, but operators are still keen to build prestigious hotels in key locations as consumer demand from Russia, China and the Middle East remains strong. Debt financing is becoming easier, but typically this is still only for acquisitions and refinancing where the borrower is already known to the bank, rather than new development. Lending is more easily obtained for hotels in major cities as opposed to provincial or resort locations.”

The report was quick to suggest however that these benefits will only be gained if hotel operators, especially high-end businesses, adapt to the changing needs of the modern traveller. Mr Kett added that this will include hotel staff enjoying their hospitality jobs and giving great service in an unforced way, noting that many boutique hotels tend to recruit on the basis of character rather than on qualifications.

HVS is planning to release its 2014 European Hotel Valuation Index in March, which looks at yearly trends in the room value of high-end hotels across 32 different markets.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hotel management solutions.