The pandemic has outlined some of the current inequalities within the hotel and hospitality industry – namely the risk and reward balance between investors and owners – and the need for transparency and experience. With hotels becoming an essential part of many investment portfolios, a deeper understanding is required.
In our series of three articles and webinars, we draw on our knowledge and supplement this with views from across the hotel eco-system including owners, operators, brands, asset managers and active investors.
Transparency and knowledge needed to work with brands
In the first in our series we addressed the age-old issue of the owners vs the brands in the light of the pandemic. It was felt that those investors with sector experience would be able to drive change, with the brands who could demonstrate understanding and flexibility likely to be in a good position going forward.
All sides looked to greater communication with innovation required from the brands. The coming downturn was expected to increase demand for properties and keep those valuable pipelines moving.
Owners and brands move closer as recovery approaches
There was hope as hotels started to reopen, with the prospect of revenue from guests bringing owners and brands together to maximise returns and move on from the stresses which had strained relationships.
Investors called for flexibility from brands on terms as well as in operations as they looked for growth areas, with the path out of the pandemic unlikely to mean an immediate return to old patterns of travel and new sources of revenue required.
The pandemic-induced changes here to stay
In this episode, we drew together the themes of the previous webinars and looked to the future, with the impact of the pandemic on operations and transactions at the forefront. Investors both old and new to the sector continued to crowd into it, eager to benefit from a rapid recovery as travel returned.
Government support meant that owners were not desperate to sell or drop prices, but the end of these measures was expected to trigger M&A and put the brands in a position to make a power grab in the sector. Asset managers were coming to the fore and the relationship between all parties was seen as needing collaboration, not confrontation.