Hotel Industry: A Changing Business Landscape

A detailed review of the trends and challenges expected in the UK hotel industry in 2015 – an extract from 2015 Strategic Yearbook.

2015 is a critical time for UK hoteliers. The industry is emerging from recession, but economic uncertainty persists. Hoteliers are trading in a time where the OTAs and discount websites continue their stranglehold on pricing, but they bring other benefits. Even the source markets for the guests of the future are in flux!

The market is evolving, the guests are evolving and technology is evolving … but are you?

We hit the ground running in this article, in which our industry leaders discuss the changing business landscape that informs their business strategy for 2015.


Stewart Campbell, MD, Redefine BDL Hotels
While the buoyancy within the sector is encouraging, and a good barometer against which to measure the economy generally, we must remain cautious as the sector is still emerging from the economic downturn.

The signs are that corporate and leisure customers are more willing to spend on good quality as opposed to always seeking out the best deals; however, competitiveness is key to attracting people.

Peter Cashman, CEO, Focus Hotels Management
We’re also anticipating continued churn of provincial hotel estates as funds and banks dispose, and new funds and investors continue to build new portfolios. 2015 will also see more capital investments improving the quality of primarily provincial hotel stock.
So there are still many challenges out there that we must overcome.

For example, wage improvements and shortage of staff will present a challenge in terms of finding the right, motivated employees, and will also create payroll pressures. Stagnant growth in the Euro Zone could also potentially lead to a reduction in continental visitors.

Olivia Byrne, Director, Eccleston Square Hotel
Yes, everyone will continue to keep a close eye on Europe; its stability will affect consumer confidence as will the UK’s economic forecast.

And let’s not forget that 2015 is a General Election year! I hope that we can expect London to once again enjoy international media attention – which can only be great for tourism in the Capital.

Mark Chambers, MD, Eden Hotel Collection
I think that the General Election will make the first quarter tough. People will be tightening their belts as they won’t know what to expect. Various cuts, the threat of a triple dip recession and the fragile economies of some of Europe’s super powers will all impact on how people spend and public confidence.

Olivia Byrne, Director, Eccleston Square Hotel
I think that consumer spending confidence will increase. If so, new businesses and hotels will spring up. So, in addition to an increase in competition, there’s also the very real issue of online travel agents (OTA) eating up the market share and reducing direct-sell turnover.


David Myers, CEO, Sleeperz Hotels
I predict that OTAs (Online Travel Agents) will continue to extend their influence over the booking landscape and operators will need to become increasingly innovative in digital marketing to win those prized direct bookings via hotel websites.

The OTAs generate business but the commission structure drives down margin considerably and increasing direct bookings remains the single most important objective for any hotel…

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE … An extract from 2015 Strategic Yearbook

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