The hotel industry in the UK and Europe is facing a positive 2014 with increased demand from both leisure and corporate guest, improving transaction activity and finance becoming more easily available, according to hotel consultants HVS London.
Some 45% of the new rooms currently under construction are in the upscale sector.
Russell Kett, chairman of HVS, said: "There has been much talk about the growth of the budget end of the market, but operators are still keen to build prestigious hotels in key locations as consumer demand from Russia, China and the Middle East remains strong."
"Debt financing is becoming easier, but typically this is still only for acquisitions and refinancing where the borrower is already known to the bank, rather than new development. Lending is more easily obtained for hotels in major cities as opposed to provincial or resort locations."
While hotel development and transactions look relatively positive, Kett urged hoteliers, particularly those in upscale properties, to adapt to the changing demands of the modern traveller who is looking for genuinely courteous service, rather than bland, corporate responses.
"How much more refreshing it is when such attitudes come naturally to people, when staff delight in giving great service in a natural, unforced way, and when guests feel so happy about their experience that they do your marketing for you by telling their friends - little wonder that many boutique hoteliers recruit staff on the basis of their character and personality, rather than qualifications," he said.