Annual Hotel Conference 2021

Last month Lotus Property MD, Alastair Coulson and Asset and Development Manager, Aaron Spring attended the UK’s leading hospitality conference in Manchester and heard first-hand what direction the industry is set to go.

The theme for this year’s Annual Hotel Conference was ‘Change for Good’ and covered a wide range of topics across four stages – Vision, Collaboration, Innovation and Transformation. The team heard from leading minds of the UK hospitality industry alongside colleagues of hoteliers, owners, operators, investors and developers – the entire hospitality ecosystem.

Aaron Spring, who attended, shares his thoughts on the conference and what the future looks like for the hospitality industry:

“It was fantastic to attend an in-person conference and reconnect with industry peers. The themes at the AHC Manchester were consistent and certainly uplifting after such a challenging period for individuals and business alike. As hotel landlords, investors and developers we definitely came away excited for the coming year and see lots of opportunity across our areas of strategic focus.”

Aaron has detailed his main takeaways from the conference and what the future of the industry is set to look like:

• The hotel market is predicted to come back quicker than initially expected with hopes it will be back to 2019 levels by 2023.

• The flight to quality continues with a wall of money chasing prime and paying 2019 prices as they are not seeing distress.

• Debt markets are beginning to release but focus remains on existing stock. Beginning to consider development in the right locations given time lag to delivery versus anticipated recovery.

• Operational and delivery challenges are set to continue with energy, staff and building costs and the impact it has on the bottom line.

• The relationship between landlords and brands is changing with a move to a greater degree of partnership and a growing institutional preference for franchise versus management agreement led opportunity.

• The extended stay market continues to evolve and grow its presence in destination cities. However, it remains a small percentage of the overall lodging sector.