HA Perspective 2020

    Asian players ready for recovery

    Minor Hotels has launched a three-stage financial restructuring, to see it through the coronavirus crisis. The company is the latest Asia-based company to face the challenge of retaining its position in the region’s hotel landscape, as different countries adopt a variety of measures to contain the virus. Partial closures across the region have been required, [...]

    OTAs search for silver lining

    OTAs Expedia and Booking.com have cut teams and each drawn in more than USD3bn, to give them enough cashflow to survive the coronavirus shutdown. The cutbacks and cash calls come as Expedia is already into a restructuring, under new leadership. But for Booking, an adjustment to the effective halving of revenues has been more painful, [...]

    Whitbread on the offensive

    Premier Inn owner Whitbread has launched a GBP1bn rights issue, which will ready it for acquisitions in the post-coronavirus period. The company, which until recently was operating just 40 of its hotels, says it stands ready for a broader reopening. But it is the opportunity to grow that really excites the senior team. “We’ve already [...]

    Alternatives grow in strength

    Blended accommodation providers are pushing ahead with expansion plans, shaking off the coronavirus shutdown as a temporary inconvenience. Established names such as Zoku, and The Student Hotel, have been joined by a new brand launched by former Meininger chairman, Navneet Bali. Newly released from his ties at Meininger, Bali has revealed plans to launch a [...]

    Investors ready for busy ’21

    Hotel investors have declared themselves ready for action, expecting 2021 to see a range of opportunities as distress hits the more stressed businesses in the European hotel sector. Panel members at the Hospitality Tomorrow – Episode 2 virtual conference appeared excited by the opportunities presented off the back of the coronavirus shutdown. Anders Nissen, CEO [...]

    Brand standards on the bonfire

    Traditional hotel brand standards look set to be substantially upturned, as hotel groups cope with massive changes to the operating landscape. Traditional standards are being relaxed, as the big brand groups look to support struggling operators and landlords. And flexibility will be key as they look to quick conversions in 2021 to grow their portfolios. [...]

    Lockdown eases across Europe

    Across mainland Europe, hotels in key markets have been permitted to open once more. The challenge now will be persuading guests to be comfortable enough to visit and make bookings over the summer. By mid-May, hotels in Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden were open, albeit some with initially draconian limitations on operation, [...]

    Time to reset the rent?

    Across all forms of operational real estate, the coronavirus lockdown has delivered a collapse in cashflow. Businesses are now realising that a form of greater shared responsibility should replace the traditional lease and fixed rent. The traditional model has left many landlords battling to draw in rents due, while leaseholders with no revenues argue to [...]

    OTAs struggle to plan a way forward

    Tripadvisor is the latest online player to announce a swathe of staff cuts and efficiency moves, in a bid to reduce its losses in a stalled market. Meanwhile rivals shuffle their offerings as they seek to both reduce running costs in the short term, and position themselves for a profitable return to business in the [...]

    More funds raised to counter covid-19

    Scandic Hotels has announced a SEK1.75bn rights issue, to support its business over the coming months of sustained trade. Key shareholders Stena Sessan, AMF and Formica Capital, who between them hold 41.6% of Scandic shares, agreed in advance to back the issue, and vote in favour of the move. AMF additionally said it would take [...]