Affordable hotel brand Yotel is aiming to open 60 hotels by 2023, according to chief executive Hubert Viriot (pictured).
Viriot revealed the new target to The Caterer following the announcement this morning that Starwood Capital is to take a 30% stake in the company for $250m (£185m) to fund its expansion.
Last year the company said it was targeting 16 hotels open by 2018, which Viriot said would be achieved and hopefully exceeded by 2019, as Yotel is looking at several conversion hotel opportunities which would be turned around quickly. "My target is not to have 16 hotels by 2019, but to have 60 hotels by 2023. I'm more set on that longer term target," he said.
The brand has six hotels open, two in the UK (Yotelair airport hotels at London Heathrow and Gatwick), with 15 in development. As well as hotels in San Francisco and Singapore set to open soon, sites have been secured in Edinburgh for the conversion of a 280-bedroom hotel, Glasgow and Amsterdam, as well as Yotel's first UK city centre hotel in London Clerkenwell, all expected to open by 2019.
Viriot confirmed the UK is still a focus market for the company, particularly London and Manchester: "It's where we come from and definitely where we want to continue expanding as we continue growing elsewhere."
What asked about his confidence in the UK market, he said: "It's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; it's one of the greater economic and financial hubs in the world; I don't see this changing anytime soon. The future in terms of the demand is definitely very solid."
He added that he hoped the career path Yotel can provide its staff "will be attractive to UK citizens and foreigners alike".
Internationally, the brand is focusing on expansion in Europe, North America and Asia, particularly Australia, Japan and India. Viriot said sites at Singapore's Changi Airport, Dubai, Miami and Geneva are all confirmed, under construction, and will come into the pipeline over the next 18 months. "It's a global plan and it's why we needed a global partner such as Starwood Capital to facilitate the execution of that plan," Viriot said, adding that the pipeline is a mix of city centre and airport hotels.
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