LONDON – UK travelers are unwilling to forgo entertainment and experiences due to inflation and cost-of-living crises, but they are being more judicious in their choice of hotel stays, the UK Budget Executive has said. According to director Martin Robinson. Hotel brand Travelodge hotels from April 2021.
He said headline entertainment acts such as Ed Sheeran and Coldplay are key drivers of occupancy at his brand’s hotels. Guests are welcome to carpool to get to these shows and before and after, share accommodation.
Robinson, who is also chairman of Parkden Resorts, a vacation home company, and sits on the board of Disneyland Paris, said he believes budget and luxury hotels are “best for 2023.”
For 17 years, Robinson was CEO of the holiday-park accommodation company and head of Center Parks’ European business and UK division.
“People are spending money, money they saved, but in a different way,” he said.
Robinson said consumer spending habits are changing in other industries as well.
“They fly Ryanair and EasyJet and they drive Dahatsu. That is, they buy the basics,” he said.
He pointed to the $200 billion in consumer cash that he said did not exist before the pandemic, adding that “there are 8 million homes in the UK with no mortgage attached.”
Major events such as the Glastonbury music festival, canceled in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic, and a full calendar of sporting events have helped fuel domestic tourism and TravelodgeThe bottom line is in 2022, he said.
“We saw more profits at the end of August 2022 than in all of 2019. It’s 50% leisure, 50% business travel, which includes dozens of different categories of users, all with dynamic pricing. Done, with two or three. Different prices every day,” he said.
“ “It’s been a good year for White Van Man, but it’s been a bad year for the government business, and we’re the largest supplier of hotels to the government,” he added.
Occupancy at Travelodge hotels has also been lifted by the company’s back-to-office policies.
“Some staff have moved away from London, and now they’re back in the office, they’re staying at a Travelodge hotel two or three nights per week,” Robinson said.
“We also see employees arriving at one of our hotels on a Thursday at 10am and then working here, bringing their families and taking a long weekend off,” he said.
“Many [hotel firms] 2022 was a record year, and I think we’ll be close to it in 2023.
Goldman Sachs, Golden Tree Asset Management and Avenue Capital Group have owned Truloj for more years than the private-equity firms that typically own hotel companies and brands, Robinson said.
“We have big owners, but yes, they want to leave. Ten years is a long time, but I explain to them that there are no deals in England, it’s not my fault. They expected to leave about six months ago, “he said.
Robinson said he sees the UK hotel deal window narrowing.
“It makes it difficult to keep management on the front foot when everything happens,” he said.
Robinson said that the media, “especially the BBC” are very pessimistic about the economy and consumer demand, and this has a significant impact on consumer demand and spending.
“The world won’t collapse in 2023. … We’ve been given a cocktail of bad news in the UK. Monkeypox is the new COVID-19, for example. Yes, there are problems, but there are things we can do. To reduce these challenges.
Labor, construction and trade prices are higher than Robinson worries.
“There are delays in the pipeline, with construction companies shutting down, but we plan to open 25 hotels a year.
“We recovered quickly from COVID-19, so why shouldn’t we do the same from this downturn? We have to be more positive,” he said, adding that the company currently has nearly 600 properties in operation and 300 more in the pipeline. has in the pipeline.
Some of Robinson’s solutions or best practices, he said, are to hire wisely and treat employees well, as you would your customers; Be flexible with employment models and schedules.
He said the government should also adjust business rates, which have been suspended for the period but will return.
Robinson said identification service provider checks, a government-mandated process for giving non-British workers the right to work in the UK, were also a bind.
“These checks take 12 weeks, a long time in which you risk losing potential employees,” he said.
About 35% of Travelodge hotels have closed restaurants, and Robinson said finding staff is a particular challenge for them, as menu prices do not increase in line with inflation.
“We’ve seen increases of 20%, 30%, 40% [food and beverage] costs, and we cannot push more than 5% or 6% as a price increase. We have to put pressure on customers that these costs add up in the long run,” he said.
Robinson said the average daily rate could rise if Travelodge’s UK competitor did the same.
“We are number two in Premier Inn, but we take advantage of its presence and size. Our disadvantage is that we have a rental model, but when they raise their prices, they allow us to do the same. let’s do
“The UK is unusual in that it has two major economy brands dominating the market,” he added.
There has been much change in the top ranks of Travelodge over the past 18 months, with Craig Bonner appointed as CEO in May 2021, a month after Robinson started in his role. A year later, Bonner stepped down and Jo Boydell took over as CEO, promoting her from the role of chief financial officer she started in March 2013.
From June 2021 the position of chief operating officer is filled by Claire Goode, previously the company’s director of central operations.
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