Transactions and cashflows

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Transactions and cashflows

[Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash]

Last year saw a huge increase in single asset hotel sales across the UK. In fact, investor appetite has been so strong that 2021 represents the highest level of single asset activity since 2015, according to research by Knight Frank. Whereas the extended crisis has forced the hand of many owner/operators to sell, the healthy volume of transactions is encouraging and underlines confidence in the hotel sector.

To caveat the positive news, the British media has reported that inflation has reached a 30-year high. This will prompt many owners to drive greater operational efficiencies in the year ahead, which will help reinforce the sector’s resilience against challenging market dynamics.

• As focus turns to creatively managing cashflows, the entry of bidding platforms within the travel space is on the rise. I’ve recently come across companies such as Bidwings and Seatfrog, which allow customers to bid for hotel stays and travel upgrades. This week, luxury auction platform Black Platinum Gold has taken the bidding process one step further by introducing a loyalty program alongside it.

The premise is simple: for every £1 spent on a trip by the winning customer, one loyalty point will be awarded. 500 points will qualify for a one per cent discount on the total trip cost, with a maximum of five per cent discount available per trip.

The potential here to maximise unsold inventory is vast. It can lead to deeper relationships as accommodation providers are directly connected with customers, and it turns under-utilised space into a revenue generating opportunity. I suspect the OTAs will be paying close attention as traditional booking habits are transformed.

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