Dalata Hotel Group founder and chief executive Pat McCann has said he sees 2021 as the year of "rebuilding". While he doesn't expect 2019 levels of trading by 2022, he hopes the business could be "well on our way to getting there" by then.
Dalata has 44 hotels across the UK and Ireland, 15 of which have remained open and operational for key workers during the lockdown.
Speaking to The Caterer, McCann said that Dalata is focusing on the staycation market and is expecting "more demand from domestic business than probably we've ever experienced before" when properties are able to reopen to guests.
As a result the group's marketing activity for this year is focusing on domestic business, which he said has previously driven "virtually all" business for the group outside of London and Dublin.
Since Ireland and England announced tentative hotel reopening dates (20 and 4 July, respectively), McCann said the group had seen "limited" uptick in booking numbers, and was not expecting events business "of any consequence" this year.
However, he said he is confident in the future of the group: "We promised ourselves that we'd do three things: look after our people, look after our business and look after our cash, and we've been able to do that in a very positive, proactive way.
"We were lucky at the beginning that we have a very strong balance sheet… we had more than sufficient cash to see us through 12 months if we needed to. All of those things put us in a good place, relatively speaking."
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