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THE BIG BRAND REPORT: How the hotel chains are bracing for recovery

Ruby

Keeping an eye on the movements of the biggest chains, hotel groups and global brands will help define your own strategies and growth plans. We take a look at how the brands have fared during hospitality’s most challenging year and how they are focusing on recovery over the next 12 months.

Ruby Hotels

Ruby Hotels is aMunich-based hotel group, led by founder and CEO Michael Struck. The group is breaking new ground with its Lean Luxury philosophy. By having a lean organisational structure and concentrating on the essentials, Ruby manages to create a contemporary, affordable form of luxury for modern, cost- and style-conscious customers. Founded in 2013, the group already operates eight Ruby hotels, with 17 additional hotels either under construction or in the planning phase of construction.

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How has business been this year for the group’s UK hotels?
CEO Michael Struck says: As for all London hotels – and our only UK hotel in London – the Covid crisis has had a severe impact on business.

What have been some of the biggest challenges of the past year?
The only challenge for us during the past year has been the crisis of the Covid-19 outbreak and its impact on business. Most notably, the closing, reopening, and then closing again of the hotel; ensuring we keep both our guests and staff safe and healthy; keeping the business solvent.  

What was business like for UK hotels when lockdown lifted in July?
Similarly to all London hotels, the recovery of our London-based hotel was slow and business did not come back as strong as we had hoped. 

Have you invested in development this year? If yes, please elaborate.
Yes, we have signed a lease for our third London hotel, which will be a fantastic addition to our existing UK hotel portfolio. The property will open in Notting Hill in 2022.

What are the plans for the UK portfolio next year?
We plan to have a strong focus on bringing our business back to full recovery and returning to normal circumstances for both our guests and staff.

What do the brand’s UK expansion plans look like now? Have they been derailed by Covid?
The plans remain unchanged, and we are actively expanding our footprint in the UK, with several on-going negotiations in Central London and Edinburgh.

What’s the biggest change for the hospitality sector brought on by Covid and how will this impact the brand going forward?

We see the biggest change for the hospitality sector being a slow recovery for long-haul markets, and a change in demand profiles in London for the foreseeable future.

CitizenM

citizenM was launched in 2008 with a purpose – to disrupt the traditional, stale hotel industry. Rattan Chadha – the founder of the global fashion brand Mexx – was inspired by his employees to create a hotel for today’s frequent travellers, giving them everything they need and nothing they don’t. This means central locations in the world’s most exciting cities, but at an affordable price.

The first citizenM opened at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2008. In 2020, citizenM’s portfolio has 21 hotels in 14 exciting cities: London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, New York, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Taipei and Kuala Lumpur. 

How has business been this year for the group’s UK hotels?

Klaas van Lookeren Campagne, CEO of citizenM hotels says: As with all hospitality businesses across the globe, 2020 was a challenging year. Occupancy levels dropped dramatically – particularly in markets harder hit by the pandemic such as the UK – and only rose to healthier levels briefly over the summer when the situation appeared to be improving slightly. While the overall business results for the citizenM’s UK hotels this year have been challenging, the circumstances did allow us as a brand to focus on innovations and new possibilities.

What have been some of the biggest challenges of the past year?

Naturally, low occupancy levels were a huge challenge. As a hotel and lifestyle brand that was created for frequent travellers who visit the world’s most exciting cities, we rely on the cultural experience each location is able to offer. With a global pandemic halting almost all travel, and restricting or closing local hospitality and culture businesses, the appeal of a city trip decreased significantly. We had to seek new ways to generate revenue, while also innovating in areas that would ensure guests who were able to, felt comfortable staying with us, even during a pandemic.

How have you managed staffing levels this year?

Our business model ensures an already lean team when it comes to hotel staff. We train our staff (we call them ambassadors) to be multi-functional. This meant it was easy to be flexible and adapt to the circumstances – switching shifts around and reducing the number of ambassadors per shift.

What successes have you seen within the UK portfolio?

We just announced a very exciting project: a new hotel management agreement for a property in the £1.3bn Olympia London redevelopment led by Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International, which will create a new cultural hub in West London. citizenM London Olympia will be a 145-room hotel, comprising the first floor with front-of-house and three guest room floors on top of the existing historic building. Once the hotel opens in 2023, it will mark our fifth property in London, as construction is also currently full steam ahead on our London Victoria hotel, due to open in 2022.

Have you seen average spend increase? Benefited from the staycation?

In certain locations we put together staycation packages which increased average spend – especially in markets such as the Netherlands and Denmark where we saw a notable appetite for these types of offers – however these were limited to a short duration.

Have you invested in development this year?

Yes, absolutely. We attribute these developments to our strong shareholders (KRC Capital, APG and GIC) as well as our belief that things will improve – and that as soon as they do, people will want to travel once again, both for business and leisure. citizenM has a unique business model which allows us to take a more medium-term view and thereby make investments that will benefit us for the next 3-5 years and allow for faster expansion in the future. Some of the key developments invested in this year included: App and contactless experience: When the pandemic hit, we were able to fast-track, upgrading our technology efforts to create an almost entirely contactless guest experience, including through the launch of an app, which allows guests to open their rooms, check-in and out, order F&B, control the in-room experience and more, all via their smartphone. Subscriptions: With technology moving extremely fast, and customer needs and behaviour adapting accordingly, we decided to move into a subscription model as a logical next step for the brand.

We also signed a number of new deals, including the Olympia London HMA mentioned earlier; a partnership with German project developer GBI to find new locations in Germany’s top cities; a partnership with Antirion which will enable citizenM to move into the Italian market, starting with a property in Rome; as well as a deal to build a 240-room hotel adjacent to Facebook’s Menlo Park campus in California.

What do the brand’s UK expansion plans look like now?

citizenM has always thrived in the most competitive hotel markets in the world, including London, because of our value proposition: offering luxury at an affordable price. Our strategy has always been to open multiple hotels in these cities. As mentioned in previous points, we currently have three operating hotels in London (Bankside, Shoreditch and Tower of London), with two in development (Victoria and Olympia).

What’s the biggest change for the hospitality sector brought on by Covid and how will this impact the brand going forward?

While the most significant impact is often expressed in occupancy levels and average rate decline, citizenM believes the impact will sit in a number of areas: guest expectations (to which hotels need to adapt and respond immediately); tech and digital awareness (these features must be frictionless and enable), and environmental consciousness (this is no longer for a select few, but a requirement with demands to be fulfilled and exceeded). The pandemic has also caused significant impacts to the way people work. Certain behaviour will be short-lived, while others will be longer term. citizenM is busy developing solutions to some of the secular changes we think will happen in the workplace and with workforces.

Hyatt

Hyatt’s foundation in family goes back to 1957, when entrepreneur Jay Pritzker purchased the original Hyatt House motel. Pritzker and his brother, Donald, worked to grow the Hyatt brand, powered by their belief in the importance of family and care. As of September 30, 2020, Hyatt is a global hospitality company with 21 premier brands and more than 950 hotel, all-inclusive, and wellness resort properties in 67 countries across six continents.

The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is conveniently tucked away in upmarket Marylebone, comprising 440 bedrooms, plus 12 distinctive meeting spaces. Dining options include seasonal British dishes at The Montagu Kitchen, craft cocktails at award-winning The Churchill Bar & Terrace or Michelin-starred Italian fine dining at Locanda Locatelli.

How has business been this year for the group’s UK hotels?

Arnaud De Saint-Exupery, Area Manager of Hyatt in UK & Ireland says: 2019 was a fantastic year for all of Hyatt’s UK hotels and 2020 was shaping up to follow suit. This was of course halted by Covid-19 in the early spring, and since then, adaptation has proven vital for survival. As a brand, the pandemic has encouraged us to rethink and innovate, on both a regional and global scale, and we have accelerated developments which were already in the pipeline. In normal times, these changes would have taken far longer to process and implement, so in a way, this has been a positive step for Hyatt and our team have adapted fantastically. There has been a number of trends which we’ve had to adapt to, including a shift towards short-term bookings and a need to focus on booking channel initiatives.

What have been some of the biggest challenges of the past year?

The biggest challenge has been the management of the crisis across each unique hotel, getting each property to the position that it can remain resilient as we continue to ride this storm. We are an industry made up of people, making the hospitality industry a wholly personal one, and we must not lose sight of that. We have had to make difficult strategic decisions in restructuring teams, adapting to the immediate situation while looking long term towards recovery, which means that, naturally, this period of change has been hugely challenging for all those involved.

The pandemic has shown the agility of our UK hotel portfolio, and some comfort can be taken from the successes seen in some of our F&B outlets upon reopening in the summer, which exceeded our expectations. A clear sign of consumer demand, these results give us cause for optimism for the future. Furthermore, without international travel, we have seen an uptick in our domestic market, which we’re excited to be able to develop further and strengthen Hyatt’s place in the UK hospitality landscape.

What successes have you seen within the UK portfolio? What segments have performed well?

We have seen two main segments perform well, especially during the summer: the staycation market, and our F&B outlets. Unsurprisingly, the domestic market has been a key market for us across hotels, and we were pleased with the results over the summer, especially in our hotels in Manchester and Birmingham, which have more of a countryside feel than the London properties. From the get go, we understood that the domestic market would be crucial for us, so looked at how we could create experiences that were attractive to the domestic market in each hotel. This led to the development at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill of new room categories specifically for families, allowing people to have their own bubbles, and private gyms created within bedrooms with booked appointments included for all guests to name just two examples.

In London, our F&B outlets did very well while they were allowed to be open. The Churchill Bar & Terrace in Marylebone was often booked out, even on weekdays, showing us that people want to come back and want to be entertained and celebrate together. To generate these successes, we recognised early on that we had to create confidence. Hyatt was forward thinking in these terms from day one – we created our Global Care & Cleanliness program early on, and developed new protocols of hygiene and cleanliness, advised by experts from Cleveland Clinic, to ensure our staff were fully trained ahead of reopening. Upon opening, we ensured our hotels were accredited as Covid-19 Confident by AA.

Have you invested in development this year? If yes, please elaborate.

The priority of every one of our hotels in the UK during lockdown was to maintain them during closure. Closing a hotel doesn’t mean it can simply switch off, and from a health and safety viewpoint, we had to make sure that security, water, engineering was all maintained to avoid future issues. These hotels have never been closed for so long before, so this was a new challenge for us.

From a proactive development point of view, we did use the time to develop and continue a number of planned investment projects for hotels, in particular Hyatt Regency London – the Churchill. We renovated public spaces across the hotel, as part of both pre-planned projects and new projects that were a reaction to the pandemic. For instance, we developed new small and medium meeting spaces on the ground floor to cater for meetings and social events, and we developed the two new family room categories for the domestic market. Additionally, we fully renovated our top suite and renamed it as The Churchill Residential Suite.

Finally, we invested in our lobby and promenade areas, making them lighter and more modern spaces, and refreshing the artwork.

There is a noticeable touch of luxury with TOTO in the bathroom of the suites – why was this brand chosen?

In 2016, we renovated a number of the floors of the hotel, and added TOTO to all new rooms and suites. We chose TOTO in order to meet the developing expectations of our clientele. In particular, our Asian and Middle Eastern clients are used to this level of luxury, comfort and hygiene. When we decide to do these investments, we always look at what the market is and with what expectation they are coming to your property. We have always had a lot of international clientele and they were looking for this addition that creates more comfort and a custom way of managing your stay, from every aspect.

What did you like most about the brand and its products?

During my career, I was myself based for 3 years in Tokyo – TOTO is extremely well known and popular as a luxury product in that region, and I got to know that it was very high in comfort and hygiene, and offers, tailored and personalised experience. I wanted to bring this over to our hotel to suit guest expectation.

What are the plans for the UK portfolio next year?

As a brand, we do have some exciting plans for our portfolio in the UK. Luckily for us, we have a global development team who have continued to be proactive in looking at new opportunities throughout the pandemic. There are four developments I can confirm.

The Hyatt Centric in Cambridge, which will be opening in late 2021, with 150 rooms. This is the first Hyatt centric in the UK – the brand is all about embracing the local area and lifestyle, and this hotel will be very much focused on the city and University of Cambridge.

Additionally, Hyatt Place London City East will be opening in March 2021, located right next to Aldgate, with a 9th floor bar overlooking the City of London.

Further, we expect the second Hyatt Regency branded hotel to open in 2024. Hyatt Regency Olympia will be situated in a new development in West London.

Finally, we have just recently announced the opening of Park Hyatt London River Thames, planned for 2022 – we are thrilled to be bringing the Park Hyatt brand to the UK, and this is a very exciting step for the Hyatt UK family.

What’s the biggest change for the hospitality sector brought on by Covid and how will this impact the brand going forward?

The biggest change has been the increased expectations for health and safety – as mentioned above, we have had these in place as our number one priority since the start of the pandemic. In addition, people’s focus on both sustainability and wellbeing have only grown during the pandemic, so this will continue to be a priority for us as a brand.

The customer journey has also seen major changes – digital and technology is much bigger than before, bookings will come with more flexibility, check in and check out will change, in room touch points will be removed, and the journey will be much more contactless. However, I also believe that human engagement and interaction is one thing that will always remain the same. Interaction with our local community is also crucial in recovery of the industry as a whole: we all need to support each other and build each other up.

Accor

Founded in 1967, Accor is a global hospitality group consisting of more than 5,000 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries, including 340 hotels, apartments and resorts in Australia. The group encompasses luxury and premium brands, midscale and economy offerings, unique lifestyle concepts, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more. Accor also employs approximately 300,000 team members worldwide. Over 65 million members benefit from the company’s comprehensive loyalty program ALL – Accor Live Limitless. Through its Planet 21 – Acting Here, Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the group is focused on driving positive action through business ethics, responsible tourism, environmental sustainability, community engagement, diversity and inclusivity.

How has business been this year for the group’s UK hotels? What have been some of the biggest challenges of the past year?

James Wheatcroft, VP Marketing Accor Northern Europe says: The COVID-19 global pandemic cut right through to the very heart of the hospitality sector, preventing our hotels and restaurants from doing what they do best – welcoming guests and providing great hospitality experiences. In what has been the most challenging year the sector has ever seen, Accor responded quickly in the UK and across the globe, taking actions to support our partners, teams and communities.

Did all hotels remain open during the lockdowns in England?

At the start of April we launched an emergency response platform to provide NHS, key workers and disadvantaged people with accommodation solutions in UK. More than 80 hotels were repurposed for NHS, key workers and welfare bookings from local authorities and charities. Hotel brands including ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget, Mercure, Novotel and Adagio opened their doors to accommodate those in need.

What successes have you seen within the UK portfolio?

A major success has been how our hotels have responded to the need to reassure guests of the safety measures being taken. All our UK portfolio has adopted ALLSAFE, Accor’s global cleanliness and prevention programme which provides independent third party auditing to ensure compliance.  In addition, within ALLSAFE we have partnered with AXA to address potential concerns for travellers should they feel unwell when they reach their destination hotel. Guests can access free telemedicine consultations, via the expert medical solutions of AXA Partners as well as AXA’s extensive medical networks with tens of thousands of vetted medical professionals.

In response to the increasing number of people struggling with the requirement to work from home, we launched our new ‘Hotel Office’ concept.  This enables people to book their own hotel room for an uninterrupted, premium remote working experience in 220 hotels across the UK. 

Have you seen average spend increase? Benefited from the staycation?

We increased the flexibility on existing bookings and also launched a new semi-flex rate, enabling guests to cancel with no penalty up to three days before arrival, enabling them to book with confidence in an ever-shifting environment.

Have you invested in development this year? If yes, please elaborate.

While the pandemic has been all encompassing in the immediate term, our approach is always to take a longer view, so it has been vital to continue with our development strategy. One major example is our recent announcement that Accor and Ennismore have entered negotiations to form the world’s leading lifestyle operator in the hospitality sector. This will be headquartered in London and at inception comprise 12 brands with 73 hotels in operation with a committed pipeline of more than 110 hotels.

Our UK development has remained strong, with landmark agreements seeing the return of the Mondrian brand to London and two new Fairmont properties opening in the UK and Ireland this coming Spring. We have been working on development across the portfolio, with examples including the signing of England’s first Tribe hotel for Manchester Airport and a flagship Novotel for Paddington Village in Liverpool, both set for completion in 2022.

In addition we have been investing in technological developments, for instance in extending our partnership with London based hospitality software provider Bizzon. This is part of our transformation of the customer journey for F&B and enables hotel guests to order food and drink from the hotel’s digital menu with their own mobile phones.

What are the plans for the UK portfolio next year?

We will be continuing to develop the portfolio and introduce new technology which improves the guest experience. Once more normal times return, we believe that many people will be looking for more human contact, and that is at the heart of our business.

When do you expect to return to pre-pandemic levels of business?

It is still too early to say as there remain so many variables, but it certainly seems that we are on the path out of the pandemic and back to normality. How quickly that comes depends not just on how well the vaccine roll out goes in the UK, but also in the domestic markets of our inbound visitors. There won’t necessarily be uniform patterns to the recovery across all categories, but we have the advantage of a broad portfolio of strong international brands, which means we can meet demand segment by segment.

What’s the biggest change for the hospitality sector brought on by Covid and how will this impact the brand going forward?

It will take some time to see what the biggest long term impact of the pandemic will be. The fundamentals of our business remain constant; at the centre are our people who make the connections with guests and create experiences which build loyalty. We will continue with this strategy and our brands remain strong, but we are just one part of a travel and leisure ecosystem. There is no denying that the impact on some other parts of that ecosystem, for instance arts and culture, has been dramatic. However, although many consumers have been hit hard economically, we are confident that there is a lot of pent up demand and that next year we are likely to see people making up for lost time as soon as they can, especially when it comes to leisure experiences.

IHG Hotels & Resorts

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels, HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, voco, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, avid hotels, Staybridge Suites, Atwell Suites, and Candlewood Suites.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns nearly 6,000 hotels and 890,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with approximately 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG Rewards Club, its global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Britain and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 400,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.

How has business been this year for the group’s UK hotels?

Karin Sheppard, Managing Director of Europe for IHG Hotels & Resorts says: It has clearly been a tough year for the whole industry. Like most hotel companies, we’ve had our ups and downs, with revenue and occupancy at some of the lowest levels ever seen with many hotels having periods of temporary closure. However, through this difficulty we have also seen positivity. We’ve seen our hotels go above and beyond for their local communities with initiatives such as supporting their local food banks or the homeless.  

Of course, a major focus has been on our guests. With so much uncertainty and changes in government regulations, people needed the freedom to be able to change their mind, or adapt to having travel plans changed, and not be penalised for it. Flexibility and cleanliness became the top priorities for guests when booking travel, which is why launched our Book Now, Pay Later Rate underpinned by the IHG Clean Promise.  

Did any hotels remain open during the lockdowns in England?

Unfortunately, not all our hotels in England were able to remain open. Due to government regulations a significant proportion of our nearly 370 UK hotels had to close at the peak of the crisis. Some remained open to accommodate key workers or the homeless. I am very proud of the work we did with local government and charities to provide for vulnerable groups when they needed it most. 

What have been some of the biggest challenges of the past year?

The most obvious challenge as a hotel company is clearly working with lockdown restrictions that limit travel and reduce the ability of our guests to visit and experience our hotels. For those people who have been able to travel we have needed to play our part in giving them the confidence to do so. To build this guest confidence and trust we’ve had real focus across all hotels on safety and cleanliness, brought to life through our IHG Clean Promise. 

But also, of real significance is the impact on the health and wellbeing of our teams and colleagues. It has been such an uncertain year for everyone both professionally and personally. One of the biggest challenges has been to not only protect our colleagues’ physical health in terms of a safe working environment, but also ensuring we have given our teams the support to get through this challenging time with respect to their mental health and wellbeing. 

How have you managed staffing levels this year?

Throughout this difficult year, we have done everything to protect and retain jobs as much as possible.  
 Despite the best collective efforts to protect our colleagues, the severity of this crisis and historically low levels of demand led to difficult decisions to furlough some of our talented and passionate hotel colleagues. However, now we are starting to reopen more hotels we’re pleased to be bringing more colleagues and teams back together. 

What successes have you seen within the UK portfolio? 

We have seen some great openings in the UK this year, which demonstrates that owners remain confident about the future of the hotel industry. It also means that there are more exciting places to visit within the IHG network as restrictions are lifted. 

To highlight a couple, we opened Holiday Inn Express Bicester in October, a new-build hotel, 10 minutes’ walk from Bicester Village. We also opened our fourth Kimpton in the UK, Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester and Hotel Indigo Bath in a beautiful Georgian terrace Grade 1 listed building.  

We have seen growth across our mainstream, upscale and luxury segments throughout this period and we are well set for the recovery.  

Have you invested in development this year? What are the plans for the UK portfolio next year?

Looking to our future growth, we know that there will be high interest from independent owners to join brands that benefit from strong distribution and loyalty systems. These have proven to be critical levers for faster recovery in previous downturns. We’ve already seen conversion activity start to increase, with owners looking to IHG Hotels & Resorts and the benefits of our scale and strong branded systems – and beyond that we’re continuing to grow with existing owners who have valued how we’ve supported them throughout this crisis. 

We still continue to sign and open hotels. So far this year we have signed more than 250 new hotels and opened over 170 new ones globally. In the UK specifically, our voco brand will debut in Scotland in early 2021, with two new openings. voco Grand Central in Glasgow adjoins the city’s historic train Central Station and voco Edinburgh – Haymarket will also bring the brand’s signature guest experience to the capital city of Scotland. 

What’s the biggest change for the hospitality sector brought on by Covid and how will this impact the brand going forward?

The biggest change guests are seeing in our hotels is a very visible approach to safety, cleanliness and social distancing. 

The cleanliness of our hotels and safety of our guests and colleagues has always been a key focus, and this year we’ve taken that a step further, with enhanced cleaning procedures and social distancing, aligned to advice from the UK government and devolved health bodies. We have had very positive feedback from guests on the adjustments we have made. We also believe some of the measures we took to make hotels safer, such as removing newspapers, notepads etc, may lead to lasting changes. We are more focused than ever on delivering what our guests want, in a responsible and environmentally sustainable way.

INNSiDE

Founded in 1956 in Mallorca Spain, Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 hotels throughout more than 40 countries, under the brands Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus by Meliá, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, INNSiDE by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and TRYP by Wyndham.

The company launched its first INNSiDE property in the UK in Manchester and globally Innside by Meliá has hotels in 28 locations, spread across 10 countries with 13 additional properties in the pipeline.

The brand is to open INNSiDE Newcastle and Liverpool this year.

How has the business been this year for the group’s UK hotels?

Scott Brown, Cluster Director of Sales – UK North says: “Tough to say the least. Whilst INNSiDE Manchester worked with Greater Manchester Combined Authority with a supported accommodation scheme throughout Lockdown 1, the majority of our other hotels stayed closed and whilst the leisure business picked up with the demand generated by the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, corporate travel and events has been decimated.

What have been some of the biggest challenges of the past year?

The uncertainty. If we were clear when and how things would change then adequate planning could be made but with the changing nature of the pandemic response it has been difficult to strategically plan our business.

What successes have you seen within the UK portfolio?

We did see that by being active both from a marketing and social media point of view over lockdown 1 that our exit from that period was quicker than most of our competitors in Manchester. We picked up both sports, production and leisure business due to this and our constant contact with customers old and new has been vital to this.

What are the plans for the UK portfolio next year?

INNSiDE Newcastle opens in January and INNSiDE Liverpool in May. Whilst the hotels’ construction phases have been slightly delayed we are now moving into final stages with INNSiDE Newcastle looking fantastic now it is finished. The ability to grow the INNSiDE brand recognition and bring something really different to these great UK cities is one we relish!

What do the brand’s UK expansion plans look like now?

Following INNSiDE Newcastle and Liverpool we have planning confirmed for INNSiDE Glasgow with more potential in the pipeline.

What’s the biggest change for the hospitality sector brought on by Covid and how will this impact the brand going forward?

The biggest change is undoubtedly the risk to business travel. With corporates slowing or in some cases stopping travel and considering future reduced office capacity the city centres of the UK are at serious risk. For me it is pleasing to hear that now the initial benefit of working from home and online communication tools has worn off, there is a growing sentiment that collaboration, working from work and the benefits to productivity and mental health from being in a working environment are coming into focus. 

Tags : AccorcitizenMhotel brandshotel chainsRuby Hotels
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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