By the time you read this the UK will have left the EU and moved onto a new chapter bedecked in ‘Got Brexit Done’ badges, t-shirts and mugs. We wish it the best of luck as it balances its interests between its neighbours over the Channel and its neighbours over the Atlantic. And, with a heart filled with regret that I broke my aunt’s ‘no politics’ rule at Christmas, there will be no further such comment from me.
But you can’t fight City Hall. And Airbnb is very much hoping that it won’t have to, not for much longer. And particularly in the run up to its IPO. The platform clearly hasn’t been listening to the Brexiters attacks on the bloc that it is a slow and unresponsive beast and has been calling for an EU-wide digital regulator. Not, we sense, the regulator that the hotel sector has in mind for the sharing economy, maybe the liberated UK can set a more draconian tone? This is certainly the fear of everyone in HR as the new visa regulations are honed and the low-paid hotels sector looks like to lose out unless Brits can be persuaded to enjoy serving.
While bureaucrats have their hands full, the hotel sector is getting on with matters growth and easyHotel reported its first results since the exit of CEO Guy Parsons. The group was looking to its budget airline stablemate for inspiration as well as a replacement for Parsons and was eager to add hotels in Spain and France to its estate, venturing into Accor’s territory. Will owners take a punt on the orange upstart against the budget and economy behemoth?
Accor has had a busy week away from traditional matters of expansion, coming out in favour of eliminating single-use plastics on the guest side of proceedings and setting the bar for the other operators. Finally, an arms race which gets the backing of the planet. It wasn’t all one world, one love from the French group; it also entered into an agreement with Sabre which it hopes will accelerate growth in much the same way as Amadeus has done for InterContinental Hotels Group.
And, while the UK may be sailing into uncharted and fishing-disputed waters, at least some things remain the same. We are now three weeks into the Reuben Brothers ‘one lovely, sunny hotel per week’ acquisition strategy. Can they make it four?