Industry leaders share their thoughts on the travel, hospitality and economic landscape in 2023. BHN reports.
Connor Llewellyn Ryterski, managing director, prizeotel:
“We expect sustainability to remain a key focus for 2023, with hospitality businesses working towards ambitious emission reduction targets to become net zero, which is something we and the wider Radisson Hotel Group aim to achieve by 2050.
“We also expect the demand for the bleisure segment to grow further, and for the average length of stay to grow from one or two nights to up to four nights.”
Stephen McCall, CEO, edyn:
“Despite a challenging outlook for British hospitality – with a looming recession, a cost-of-living crisis, limited staffing, and a reduction of government support for business energy bills beyond March – there is also cause for some measured optimism, particularly within the hotels sector.
“The resurgence in consumer travel following the pandemic has proven more resilient than many expected, reflecting the increased value many ascribe to it following the deprivations of the pandemic. This more positive outlook is also seen in business travel, which now promises a long-awaited rebound with more than half of global company travel budgets back to pre-pandemic levels.
“Closer to home, hybrid hospitality is likely to reap rewards thanks to the continued growth of the consumer preferences that have so far underpinned its success. According to the CEBR, these preferences, such as the increasing demand for longer trips and remote working spaces, are particularly prevalent among younger generations, indicating a promising outlook for our sector well past 2023.”
Kennet Nordlien, CEO and founder, Riskline:
“In 2023 travellers and businesses should prepare for uncertainty. We remain in the grip of turbulent times. There’s an unprecedented rise in the impact and frequency of natural disasters, continuing inter-state conflict, growth in civil unrest and industrial action, and talk of a global recession.
“Travel demand has recovered somewhat, but will be impacted by greater hurdles, sustainability requirements and cost of living pressures. Those that travel will have higher expectations. Proactive monitoring, allowing for flexibility and adapting to disruptions will be critical in 2023. This will be possible thanks to the explosion of available data and new AI-powered technology.”
Craig Strickler, managing director, Valor Hospitality Partners:
“Our technology efforts this year will be focused on our team. We are not only prioritising attracting the best talent, but also retaining them. We’re implementing a new Human Resources Information System, which provides new technology for recruitment, benefits, performance review, compensation, training, etc.
“Given the state of employment in this industry, we feel strongly that it is vital to provide our team with the latest efficiencies in their working environment, which will ultimately translate into them giving the same great level of care to our guests.”
James Williamson, director of hotels and leisure, Graham + Sibbald:
“The hotel sector, along with the wider economy, has experienced unprecedented conditions since the onset of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020. Whilst it continues to face some significant challenges and headwinds in the months ahead, we are positive as to the outlook for the hotel and leisure sector in the UK.
“Top-line performance has generally been robust as we emerged from Covid during 2022 and although inflationary pressure has been impacting the UK economy, it is encouraging that there are signs of this starting to ease; wholesale gas prices have fallen in recent days and data shows that the economy unexpectedly grew in November 2022.
“Buyer demand continues for appropriately priced hotels, in part due to the relative lack of hotels on the market, and there is a good level of equity in the market to facilitate transactions. We anticipate that buyer appetite will continue through 2023.”
Nigel Green, CEO, deVere Group:
“As inflation begins a return to target, the cost of living will drop for consumers and central banks will ease their feet off the economic brakes, going easier on interest rate hikes before winding down. Wage inflation remains an issue, but this should ease through the year.
“A strong dollar has hit both developed and emerging markets globally, fuelling inflation and raising the cost of imported goods. It has also added to the need for some central banks around the world to tighten their own financial conditions. This will all ease when the dollar’s supremacy weakens.
“As cost-of-living eases and global growth picks up pace throughout 2023, investors will be seeking to increase their exposure to growth stocks. These are stocks that grow at a rate higher than the market average, typically such as tech stocks.
“China’s economy – the world’s second largest – is coming out of hibernation after three years of coronavirus restrictions. This could be the most visible, most anticipated, and most impactful upside boost for global markets we’ve seen in recent times. The rebound is likely to be dramatic.”