Industry leaders predict ‘positive outlook’ for hospitality after lockdown

The UK’s hospitality industry will have a “broadly positive future”, according to leading industry figures who spoke at the latest installment of Colliers’ ‘Real Estate Restructuring Strategies: Beyond Covid-19’ webinar series.

Among the panellists were Peter Stevens, the former UK TMA president and senior advisor at SME Capital; Nicholas Northam, executive vice-president international at Interstate Hotels and Resorts; Ben Godon, head of hospitality and asset management at Colliers; and Ross Kirton, head of UK leisure agency at Colliers.

The ‘Life After Lockdown’ webinar specifically examined how hospitality operators can attract investors following the pandemic.

On this issue, Kirton said: “There are a lot of private equity firms that have managed to pick up restaurant groups cheaply during the pandemic.

“We’ve also had a number of IPOs and share placings with more to follow; so we are now seeing stock market money keen to invest in the sector showing confidence in its long term outlook.”

Addressing the impact on hotel groups, Gordon said: “On the investment side, we are seeing a lot of interest into UK hospitality, certainly hotels, whether it’s domestic investors or overseas investors looking to put their money into the UK, there is continuing to be very strong demand, which has got to be good news for the sector in the long term.”

On why hospitality operators should focus on stabilising their businesses, Stevens said: “The turnaround industry encourages businesses to look to stabilise their operations to see them through these tough times, by reducing costs as much as you can, and then weathering the storm until times are better. Patience is probably the inevitable and only option.”

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