UK hotel industry on a roll, experts say
 
UK hotel industry on a roll, experts say
15 OCTOBER 2015 8:40 AM
Speakers during the Annual Hotel Conference painted a rosy picture of hotel performance both in London and the regions. 
MANCHESTER, England—The United Kingdom hotel industry is on a roll in London and the regions. That much is evident not only in the smiles of those attending the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester, but also in the number of attendees. 
 
The conference’s economic “State of the union” address was given by Trevor Williams, the chief economist at Lloyds Commercial Banking. He said “the global glut of oil will persist until the end of 2016 (even if) Saudi Arabia will start pumping a lot more oil soon.” 
 
The U.K., fortunately, boasts the supply-side economies to thwart any associated inflation growth. One caveat would certainly be if the United States raises interest rates, which murmurs suggest might happen next year.
 
But coming back to the U.K., things look good. Hoteliers need to leverage this position by communicating even more so with guests to not lose further ground to online travel agencies, said Kevin Roberts, executive chairman at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, during an opening keynote. 
 
Bottom line: Do not slap yourselves on the back. Get out there, understand your guest, offer them what they want, and continuously see ways of adding value to their journey and to your assets.
 
Slide of the day
London will see significant pipeline activity in the next couple of years. It will temper performance even if the U.K. capital can cope with increased numbers. What is worrying some commentators, though, is that estimated 6% increase in 2016. (Source: CBRE Hotels/AM:PM 2015)
 
Quotes of the day
“There will be two speeds for 2016: Be a disruptor, or be disrupted.”
Kevin Roberts, executive chairman at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi
 
“Hotels have given away pricing power. We cannot differentiate between those who go through an OTA channel and those who go direct, so pricing goes up for everyone.”
Apurva Pratap, VP of distribution and commercial marketing, Europe, InterContinental Hotels Group
 
Photo of the day
The split-level conference hall for the 2015 Annual Hotel Conference being held on 14-15 October in Manchester, England, seems to work in perfect parallel with the joy being felt in the U.K.’s two markets, London and the provinces. (Photo: Terence Baker) 
 
Interesting factoid of the day
David Bailey, senior director at business consultancy CBRE, said London will see a pipeline of 20,769 rooms in 2016, “which will come without the fillip of an Olympic Games. But if any market can, London can.”
 
Tweet of the day
 
Is it because the hotel industry is feeling happy with itself that a few more hoteliers are feeling bold enough to take pot shots at OTAs? Hoteliers quite often need OTAs, and the feeling at the conference was that hoteliers are way behind the eight ball. The clever chains are those that use OTAs as partners in an overall strategy.
 

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