Redefine BDL Hotels boss forecasts buoyant year for sector

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Redefine BDL Hotel managing director Stewart Campbell (r) with chief executive Helder Pereria (l)
Redefine BDL Hotel managing director Stewart Campbell (r) with chief executive Helder Pereria (l)

Related tags: Hotel

A leading hotel industry figure has predicted a positive year for the sector after claiming growth had 'far outstripped' his forecast for 2014.

Stewart Campbell, managing director of Redefine BDL Hotels also detailed updated European expansion plans and revealed a new strategy to expand into the US, following success in the UK last year.

Last November, Redefine BDL Hotels was appointed by LRG Acquisition Limited to manage a portfolio of 22 hotels, bringing its total UK portfolio to 70 and making it the UK’s largest independent hotel management company.

Campbell said: “We rounded off the year with a successful festive period, which saw a 20 per cent increase in sales across the portfolio compared to the same period in 2013.

“The announcement of our partnership with LRG for 19 Holiday Inns and three Crowne Plazas is the largest ever hotel management only deal in Europe, and has significantly increased our portfolio.”

European focus

Campbell claimed the company’s strong position means its strategy for European expansion will step up a gear in 2015, and is likely to follow one of two routes – either following an owner with a portfolio of existing hotels in Europe, or buying a small hotel management company on the Continent.

He also believed that the company’s growth aspirations now have the potential to reach beyond Europe.

Campbell said: “Six months ago, plotted against similar companies in the US, Redefine BDL Hotels would have ranked around 40th in terms of portfolio size – but with our recent expansion we have jumped to around 10th.

“This opens up massive possibilities and, while very much in its infancy, a move to the US is being considered.”

RevPAR boom

On the sector in general, Campbell said that this time last year he forecast an 8 per cent year on year increase in RevPAR (revenue per available room) in the UK, outside of London.

According to Campbell, RevPAR has actually increased by 16 per cent year-on-year in these regions.

“We’re also seeing evidence that hotels are being built and developed once again, which is good news.

“From our point of view, we had the launch of Aloft Liverpool in November 2014 – our first partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide – and the first ever UK franchise agreement for any Starwood hotel.”

This upward trend will continue in 2015, claimed Campbell, who predicted RevPAR growth in the regions of around 6 per cent year on year, despite an expectation that London’s growth may slow a little, to around 3 per cent.

Global travel

Campbell also noted the strengthening of the global travel market. He said: “In London and Edinburgh in particular, despite supply increasing with more properties being built and launched, demand has maintained.

“New hotels are not displacing existing ones – they are simply meeting the increasing global travel demand, which is encouraging.”

He added: “The conference market is also coming back stronger than expected. Lead-in time is increasing to around nine to 12 months and bigger conferences are being secured.

Redefine BDL Hotels will also be managing a number of new openings – including ibis Styles in Glasgow, a five-star Hilton in Leeds and Holiday Inn Express hotels in Middlesbrough and St Albans. 

Related topics: Business, Hotels, Trends & Reports

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