UK hotel development still taking place ‘despite the odds’

Despite the tough economic environment, significant investment in new hotels is still taking place across the UK, which could help generate new hospitality employment opportunities.

According to the latest Hotel Investment Highlights report from Jones Lang LaSalle, although the pace of hotel development has slowed in recent years following the 2008 financial crisis, new hotels are still being built in Europe and the UK.

The report predicts that the supply of new bedrooms will increase by 5.6 per cent of existing stock between now and 2014, and although activity in hotel investment in Europe has weakened slightly in the first six months of 2012, some €3.7 billion (£3 billion) has still been spent on new hotel developments.

Chris Moore, national director at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, commented: "Despite the odds facing the hotel market at the moment, development is still taking place, and more often in unexpected places."

In particular, the report noted a trend for increased investment in hotels close to new or existing visitor attractions and infrastructure, such as at the recently completed St George's Park at Burton – the new educational hub for English football.

Such developments benefit hotel owners by guaranteeing that a certain proportion of the rooms will be booked throughout the year.

"Evidence reveals that the ability of a key stakeholder to underwrite a minimum room night guarantee is an innovative route to secure stronger commitments from operators, funders and investors," said Mr Moore.

He believes that partnerships such as these are likely to become an increasingly common part of the UK hotel industry.

"The relationship between hotels and the places we like to spend time is evolving and the association is such that partners working together are designing ever more effective and innovative ways of funding, sharing risk and preserving spend that might otherwise be lost outside the boundaries of their estate," he commented.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hotel management solutions