IHM hosts Dine and Learn at The Mandrake Hotel

International Hospitality Media (IHM), publisher of Boutique Hotel News (BHN), hosted its latest business breakfast at The Mandrake Hotel in partnership with AHV Associates.

After a light breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant YOPO, the group gathered in the theatre to hear from Andrew Harrington, owner of AHV Associates, who delivered a short presentation on M&A activity and the capital market. Based around these key trends, IHM’s CEO Piers Brown hosted the debate: So what happens now — is the future different?

Harrington highlighted the investor appetite for holiday parks, which has been spurred by the rise in domestic tourism. It was questioned later whether this demand is simply short-term given the pent-up enthusiasm for international travel. Harrington argued that parks are an incredibly financeable model, offering commission on sale with an ancillary revenue stream.

Turning to look at sales, especially those based within rural leisure destinations, it was noted that there’s great desire to buy. Properties that previously were difficult to market in 2019–20 are selling now — perhaps as a result of the domestic tourism trend. Golf resorts in particular were mentioned as an attractive asset.

The fact that hotels were forced to shut whilst other accommodation remained open was coined a “sampling exercise” for short term rentals and serviced apartments. It was agreed that there’s now pressure on the one and two-night hotel stay, especially from corporate buyers who are hesitant of short trips. The paperwork alone was described as a deterrent from booking business stays.

What Harrington called the “green revolution in hospitality” is expected to continue, with green bonds up to 100 bps lower than non-green bonds. It is anticipated that government will accelerate regulations, fuelled in part by corporate demand for ESG commitments. It was nevertheless noted that benchmarking ESG is necessary, particularly on the financing front as there’s a grey area over what qualifies.

The UK’s government support throughout the last 15 months was briefly compared to other countries, particularly around labour. A point was raised as to what will likely happen when the furlough scheme ends in September, and how we’e going to attract talent into hospitality. Despite estimations that the scheme will cost £66 billion, one solution lies with Tronc — hospitality’s tipping system. It was highlighted that the government currently does not accept Tronc payments as part of salaries, thereby preventing some international workers from obtaining visas. The government may reassess this matter if hospitality’s full reopening and recovery is stalled as a result of the skills gap.

The socially distanced event was attended by representatives from Accor, Marriott, SuperCity, edyn, Ciel Capital, Ennismore, Cvent, LaSalle, Blue Orchid Hotels, Ecclestone Square Hotel, Gerard Nolan and Partners, Brandfull, Starboard Hotels, Watson Farley & Williams, and more.

If you’d like to hear further information about IHM’s Dine and Learn events, you can download our creative solutions menu here or get in touch directly at katie@internationalhospitality.media.

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International Hospitality Media

International Hospitality Media

IHM connects hospitality leaders through high-quality on and offline content to do business