Issue 30: 21st August 2020

    Seismic shifts create opportunities

    Will the pandemic, and the results of its enforced lockdowns, generate significant changes in real estate demand? Across the piece, those active in different sectors have been making their views known, over recent weeks. Seasoned private equity investor and hotelier Barry Sternlicht gave his views during the presentation of quarterly results at Starwood Property Trust. [...]

    Pandemic trends: redefining service and consolidation

    Battered by lockdowns and precipitous falls in revenues, hotel operators around the globe have been forced into cost cutting. There has also been a renewed focus on how to strip long term costs out of the service offering, by refocusing on what guests really want. Some of this is an overdue rebalancing of brand standards, [...]

    Planning shake-up

    The UK government has launched a consultation on planning reforms which it promises will be the greatest shake-up of the system for 75 years. The consultation comes after the swift introduction of new planning rules aimed at making it easier for some commercial premises to be converted for residential use. These changes will confer three [...]

    Recovery gathers pace

    Recent quarterly results gave increased clarity on the revival of hotel markets around the world. With the Chinese market once again running at profitable levels, leaders are looking forward to the same return to near normality in other key markets. Hilton and Marriott reported occupancy in Chinese hotels at over 60%, while IHG said its [...]

    OTAs continue to suffer

    Major online travel engines Booking and Expedia have been battered in the same way as hotel brands by tumbling revenues due to the coronavirus. Cutting substantial staff numbers, the pair are continuing a transformation already under way, as they seek out ways to improve their relevance to consumers, in the wider travel reservation space. At [...]