Europe Hotel Pulse: Hoteliers Note Little Help in UK Government's Budget – CoStar Group

By Terence Baker
Hotel News Now

Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. This week’s compilation covers Europe.
The United Kingdom’s latest budget, known as the Autumn Statement, was welcomed only in part by hoteliers.
On Nov. 17, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt made no wholesale change in business rates, one major desire of the hotel industry, other than to say, “rate bills should accurately reflect business values.”
“We will introduce a 13.6 billion pounds sterling ($16.16 billion) tax cut over the next five years, and two-thirds of businesses will not pay more next year,” he said.
Hunt's budget also did nothing to change an increase in corporation taxes due next April.

Portuguese hotel development firm Mercan Properties Group has signed a two-hotel deal worth 107.8 million euros ($112 million). It has also lined up Hilton to manage the hotels, which are due to open in 2024.
Both hotels will be part of an urban regeneration project in the Algarve city of Lagos, the 180-room Lagos Marina Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, being joined by the 90-room Hilton Garden Inn Lagos.

Owners and operators of Europe’s top luxury hotels say their guests look at the individual hotel’s branding, offerings and service long before they look at the parent company’s branding and that even after staying at a property for more than five nights might still be unaware the hotel sits within a collection, according to speakers at the Alvarez & Marsal's European Hospitality Investment Conference.
Roeland Vos, president and CEO of Belmond, said “each hotel is on a journey of its own brand positioning. For guests, it is about the hotel first. … They search for this, and they pay for this. It is the property first, then the brand.”
Timo Gruenert, CEO of the Oetker Collection, which includes hotels such as Le Bristol, Paris, said it is very easy for the very best hotel to slip if service levels fall. He said, “it did not need a lot of management brilliance to achieve good results [in 2022], but we will reach a point where we will see differentiation. People will have a memory of where they overspent.”

Italian hotel firm Baglioni Hotels & Resorts, which has hotels in Florence, Apulia, Rome, Sardinia and Venice in Italy, as well as in London and The Maldives, has been acquired by Mexican hotel and resort firm Palace Resorts for an undisclosed price.
The Mexican firm acquired 75% of Baglioni’s parent company Cogeta Spa in a deal that opens the Americas to Baglioni and Europe to Palace. Palace’s executive vice president, Gibran Chapur said he intends to “introduce Palace brands Le Blanc and Moon Palace to Europe.”

British hotel firm IHG Hotels & Resorts and Mallorca, Spain-based peer Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement for the Spanish firm’s 70 hotels and 24,300 rooms to be add to IHG’s loyalty platform. No changes in ownership are to occur.
Almost 30 of the hotels will be added in December, with the rest to follow, although some individual deals remain to be sorted with owners. It marks another move by one of the world's largest hotel firms to expand its presence in the all-inclusive market.

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