Today’s news in brief – 11/1/24

Whitbread, the hospitality group, reported an 11% increase in UK Premier Inn accommodation sales during the third quarter of FY24, compared to the same period in the previous year. This growth was attributed to robust demand in both London and other regions, with total Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) rising by 9% compared to November and 39% compared to FY20. The food and beverage segment of Premier Inn also performed well, with a 6% sales increase in the third quarter. Dominic Paul, the CEO of Whitbread, expressed confidence in the outlook for FY25, citing positive current trading, a favourable supply environment, and ongoing cost efficiencies.

Radisson Hotel Group celebrated a record-breaking year in 2023, adding over 30,000 keys to its portfolio through openings and signings, marking nearly a 50% growth since the launch of its transformation plan in 2018. Radisson Blu remained the largest upper upscale brand in Europe for the 12th consecutive year. The Radisson Collection brand made several market debuts, including openings in India, Nigeria, Egypt, and Lithuania. The Radisson brand, the fastest-growing in the industry, added nearly 40 properties in 2023, expanding to new destinations like Réunion, Budapest, and Baku. The group highlighted the increasing relevance of resorts to its business and expressed optimism for continued growth in 2024.

Members of the Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) are cautiously optimistic about 2024, hoping for increased government support recognising the significant contribution of the hospitality sector to the UK economy. Reflecting on 2023, BHA emphasised the industry’s role as the UK’s third-largest employer, providing jobs for 3.5 million people and contributing £7.5bn to high streets and communities annually. Challenges such as the National Living Wage increase and competition from Airbnb were noted, with the association calling for VAT reductions and increased regulation. Despite a good year in terms of occupancy in 2023, the industry seeks government recognition and support to address ongoing challenges.

The Atholl Hotel in Aberdeen has reduced its asking price from £3.5m to £3.2m to better align with market conditions. Co-owners Gordon Sinclair and Richard Nicoll initially marketed the 34-bedroom property in June the previous year. The hotel, which features a restaurant, bar, and lounge, reported a totalized net turnover of £2.07m for the year ending November 2022. The breakdown showed 58% from food, 30% from accommodation and room hire, and 12% from liquor sales. The decision to lower the asking price aims to facilitate a sale, with Sinclair planning to retire and Nicoll focusing on other business interests. The property is now being marketed by Cornerstone Business Agents.

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