Hotel managment company BDL Management has announced plans to grow its portfolio of hotels from 44 to 75 by the end of 2014.
The Glasgow-based company, initially set up to develop and operate new-build branded hotels in 1997, currently operates a number of franchised InterContinental Hotel Group hotels and is the largest franchisee of Wyndham Hotels Group. It also operates a number of individual hotels, including The Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa in St Helier.
Under plans for expansion, it will focus on signing new management contracts at existing properties, having given up building and developing new hotels when the economy first took a downturn in 2008.
Managing director Stewart Campbell said: “When the financial crisis hit the hotel industry we made the decision to stop developing new-build hotels. We had a talented property team and over a decade’s experience of hotel management, so instead of cutting staff we re-focused our efforts on winning management contracts.
"This has proved a successful strategy for BDL Management, particularly with hotels that have gone into administration and properties which banks have taken onto their balance sheets."
The company currently employs more than 2,500 people with 70 involved in central management. Campbell, who moved up to managing director from his role of chief financial officer last year, said strong staff retention and developing expertise in-house had helped build a successful business and he believed had enabled it to diversify in the recession.
"The fact that we have retained our people ensures that we will are capable of scaling up our development activity if we choose to do so when the market is more buoyant," he said.
“I have always loved the fact that every hotel has its own 24/7 community. When I visit our properties, I am inspired by the entrepreneurial flair of the general managers and I can tell whether a hotel is well run within five minutes of walking in.
"What makes BDL Management unique is our ability not only to manage branded hotels, but also to maximise revenue and quality within the independent hotel sector by sharing the benefits that come from operating in multiple locations. There is a fantastic spirit in a happy hotel and I think that’s why it is easy to be passionate about our industry. BDL focuses on exceptional service by exceptional people.”