American hotel chain Hilton is preparing to raise the size of its UK holdings by about 25 percent in a vote of trust in the British economy as it readies to withdraw from the European Union.
Hilton, which is majority controlled by US private equity Blackstone, is slated to open 30 hotels over the next two years as it pushes to cement the country’s place as its second biggest market outside the US.
The new hotels will introduce sites in London, as well as local cities like York and Leeds, with a special focus on its Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn marks. The group only opened 6 UK hotels in 2016, so the growth rate is a step up.
The projects will cover the Lincoln Plaza London in Canary Wharf, the second UK hotel in its Curio division, a group of independent hotels that maintain their identity but are run by Hilton or under a franchise contract. The newest set of growth plans follows the group opening the biggest Hampton by Hilton hotel in the world at Stansted, indicating it now has branches at 18 UK airports.
The British boost from Hilton agrees with a statement from HVS that reveals 7,500 new hotel rooms came to the market from January to June this year – the largest in such a time since 2012. HVS also indicated growth in revenue per available room in all but two UK cities, with a 2-digit increase in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. London had an 8pc improvement.
The president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa division at Hilton, Simon Vincent, affirmed its 138-strong estate in the UK had worked particularly well after being “buoyed by the devaluation of sterling”.
“I think there will definitely be growth but certain segments will perform less strongly than others,” he said. “But on average I think we will see positive growth year on year.”