Ahead of this year’s International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Tim Helliwell, Head of Hotel Finance at Barclays, shared his outlooks for the hotel sector in 2014, a year in which he expects a continuation of the general improvement seen since the middle of last year.
“We are witnessing wider growth in the hotel sector beyond the gateway cities with provincial markets seeing signs of improved trading," he said. "This is a healthy sign for our sector and looks set to continue through the year with an increased appetite from investors buoyed by greater levels of liquidity and the general improvement in confidence. This, in turn, is creating a more positive environment for acquisitions to take place with growing confidence among buyers and we are already seeing an uptick in such activity.”
Furthermore, Helliwell said, “there has been an important step-change in the industry, with banks more willing to consider underwriting whole transactions, as well as being part of wider club arrangements. There is a strong sense that the hotel market has emerged from the sharp end of the cycle, and with it, new sources of debt and equity. Capital is coming through for good quality assets and there is an expectation that this year we’ll see debt take up in the sector reach its highest level for several years.”
Barclays has been a longstanding sponsor of the IHIF, Helliwell noted, and "believes in the merits of bringing the world of hotel investment together." As a leading global corporate bank, Barclays is very much at the centre of the renewed investment activity in the hotel sector through its extensive national and international relationships developed over the years. From the family-owned hotel to the quoted company, Barclays offers a wide breadth of support and expertise across an extensive range of corporate products and services.”
The IHIF, the International Hotel Investment Forum, takes place in Berlin from March 3-6 and is owned by Questex Media. The three-day conference is the leading annual meeting place for the hospitality industry, and unites global industry professionals to help expand business worldwide.