AHC Day Two: UK hoteliers weigh risks, rewards
 
AHC Day Two: UK hoteliers weigh risks, rewards
13 OCTOBER 2017 8:15 AM

Hotel News Now recaps the second day of the Annual Hotel Conference with takeaways, quotables, photos and more highlights from the event.

MANCHESTER, England—After the celebratory mood of the first day of the Annual Hotel Conference, the second set of sessions got down to the nitty gritty, with an emphasis on financing, development and security risks.

Because of the strength of this point of the cycle, pressures are mounting for selecting the necessary, yield-producing strategies and partnerships in terms of development and the capital stack, panelists said on the last day of the conference.

But first, finding the right location for development is paramount, which is easier said than done, according to panelists.

Another major concern, voiced during a panel on cybersecurity, is General Data Protection Regulation legislation that takes effect in the United Kingdom on 25 May.

Many hotel companies in the U.K., panelists said, are woefully unprepared to satisfy the regulations—the penalty of which might be loss of customers and reputation, criminally liable directors and fines of up to 4% of global revenue.

Speakers also leveled criticism at the U.K. government’s lack of marketing for the upcoming legislation. Is it not doing enough to make sure businesses are covered and prepared? Is it so obsessed with Brexit that this and other things are slipping by the wayside?

Of course, hoteliers need to take responsibility for their own businesses, and that was one main message on the conference’s second day.

Things are good. It is time to further take advantage of the sunny hotel landscape. Target further adventures, but make sure all the little bits that make those adventures so satisfying are in place. Right now is no time for surprises.

Photo of the day

Attendees on the second day of the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester get down to some furious networking following a panel session in the main hall. (Photo: Terence Baker)

Quotes of the day
“Have a robust feasibility plan, and the right cash flow, which defines your running costs. It is amazing how many times you see ill-defined cash flows.”
—James Houlston, managing director, BH Investment Group

“I am incredibly grateful to my panelists for sitting on this stage and being prepared to tell us what did not go well. I really had to comb the industry.”
—Sir James Devitt, managing director, Herald Hotels, ending the session he moderated titled “Regrets, I have a few, but then again … real-life stories of the pitfalls of hotel development and operation.”

Tweet of the day

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