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An exciting year ahead for hospitality and tourism

UFI IBRAHIM is chief executive of the British Hospitality Association

London a hot ticket among investors: study

London is the most attractive hotel investment destina- tion in Europe according to a Deloitte

study, pub-

lished ahead of the Deloitte European Hotel Investment Conference last month. A survey of senior


he arrival of a New Year inevitably heralds a period of reflection and retrospection but more importantly a series

of new beginnings. 2015 will bring with it opportunity aplenty for both the industry and the BHA. In January, Nick Varney from Merlin Entertainments will become the new BHA chair, bringing with him a wealth of experience and new resolve which will strengthen our remit to focus on building the hospitality and tourism community beyond expectation. Looking back over 2014, it is clear that

this has been a pivotal 12 months for the hospitality and tourism industry, and the BHA has seen greater involvement from its members than ever before. A particular high point was the launch of the Tourism Council at the 2014 Hospitality & Tourism Summit. A partnership between government and industry to focus on improving skills, increasing the quality and quantity of jobs and boosting enterprise, the council is a demonstrable commitment from both parties that hospitality and tourism are important to the economic and social foundation of our society. Tis collaborative partnership will surely provide fresh impetus and gravitas for our work in 2015, especially important with the general election just around the corner. Underpinning all our work is the

need to attract talent towards hospitality and tourism careers. 2014 has seen real progress in job creation thanks to the collaborative actions of industry leaders. Now in its second year, the BHA’s Big Hospitality Conversation continues to establish hospitality and tourism as the driver of growth, and 2014 has seen the creation of over 35,000 work placements, apprenticeships and jobs across 22 regional events. With a target of 60,000 by 2016, there is still some way to go but our industry knows that proactive action is a necessity for growth. It is no longer enough to expect that young people will naturally gravitate towards a career in hospitality and tourism; we have to find ways to demonstrate career paths which develop these future stars.


hospitality figures by Deloitte found more than half (51 per cent) rank London ahead of Paris (33 per cent) in terms of appeal for investment, fol- lowed by Barcelona (30 per cent) and Amsterdam (23 per cent). In terms of value, opinions are mixed. 52 per cent believe London is over- valued and 45 per cent said it was fairly valued. North American, Chinese and Middle Eastern investors are set to show strong interest in the European hotel sector in 2015. Outside of London, respondents favoured

Scottish cities as those of most interest in the UK next year. Edinburgh is the most favoured (60 per cent), followed by Aberdeen (38 per cent), then the English cities of Manchester (33 per cent) and Bath (19 per cent).

London is Europe’s ‘most attractive’ hotel investment destination “There is significant appetite for hotels

in Europe and the UK in particular,” said Deloitte’s global head of hospitality Nick van Marken. “In recent months, US private equity buyers have taken advantage of low interest rates and a strong uptick in sentiment. Aſter the trough of 2009, a number of deals were done, in the UK in particular, and some of these may well come back to the market.” Details:

Ramside Hall to add new £18m spa

The Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham has unveiled artists’ impressions of spa facilities that will be added to the estate as part of an £18m investment plan to upscale the offering. £3m of the total has already

been used to create an 18-hole golf course, which was launched earlier this year. Te remaining £15m will be spent on the construction of 47 additional luxury guestrooms – taking the total number of hotel rooms to 128 – plus the development of a spa. Expected to be officially opened in May

A new spa is due to open in May 2015, offering 12 treatment rooms

2015, the spa will feature a wide range of wet facilities, including a 25m swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, saunas and a range of steamrooms. Plans for the project include an outdoor balcony with an infinity pool, a caldarium and a rasul mud chamber. Te newly-designed spa will offer 12 treat-

ment rooms. Other leisure facilities to be developed include a gym, dance studio, hair salon and an Asian-style restaurant and bar. “Tis is a huge development for the hotel and will be a massive boost for the north east,”

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

Tim Boyd, general manager at Ramside Hall Hotel, told local newspaper The Northern Echo. “We’re creating an amazing state-of- the-art leisure facility which will be suited to everyone, from visitors who want to get fit and keep in shape, to anyone who just wants some rest and relaxation.” He added: “At the same time, the addition of the extra rooms give the hotel even more capacity to cope with leisure and business travellers. Tis invest- ment will cement our reputation as one of the most exciting destinations in the region.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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