Hilton's area president for Europe, Simon Vincent says the hotel group's strong brand and sales and marketing efforts have helped it survive a challenging 2009.
Speaking at the Arena Christmas lunch at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London yesterday, Vincent said the company had gone 'pretty aggressively' into sales and marketing in a bid to boost its market share during the recession.
"Two thirds of our hotels have grown in market share and a lot of that is down to sales and marketing effort," he said.
Vincent said he expected the first half of 2010 to be 'pretty tough' with corporate trade still anticipated to be slow and inflationary pressures 'a big concern'. However he said the group would be looking at consolidation across Europe and thought that smaller hotel groups could look to join Hilton next year.
"I think there are going to be opportunities to take smaller or independent chains into Hilton and we are optimistic overall," he said.
The hotel chief, who joined Hilton in 2007 from online travel company Opodo, said Hilton had opened 330 hotels globally in 2009 and currently had 57 deals signed for new hotels.
Following yesterday's news that November was a bumper month for London's hoteliers with revpar up 10 per cent, Vincent also said it confirmed the capital was 'leading the recovery' for Europe in the hotel market.