Skip to main content
News

08/2020

You are: home > news archive > 08/2020

During these difficult times for the Hospitality sector, Countrywide Hotels are delighted to announce that they have taken over the management of a group of hotels in the midlands.

The properties will fall under the Countrywide Hotels umbrella, as independent hotels. They will benefit from strong positioning in their local market, whilst enjoying the loyalty driven by Countrywide Hotels Agent and corporate relationships. The hotels total 650 rooms, primarily located in the Midlands and North West of England and include the group’s flagship hotel, Stoke Rochford Hall near Grantham, Lincolnshire. A grade 2 listed building, set in historic parks, a perfect setting for private events use.

Darren Patt, Managing Director of Countrywide Hotels said ‘We are delighted to be working with the owners, and taking on the management of this group of hotels. The collection of properties gives Countrywide Hotels a strong presence in the Midlands. During a period of uncertainty, many good people are unfortunately losing their jobs. I am pleased that we continue to grow and create new roles at Countrywide for our industry colleagues. During lockdown we took the opinion to keep our properties open in support of key workers and Government contracts, this, maintained a much-needed positive cash flow position for our owners.’

The growth in the portfolio for Countrywide Hotels who already manage 15 properties is a positive move. The additional hotels provide coverage for the group in the Midlands and North West England, creating greater choice for customers, clients, direct and through existing agent relationships.

The group plan to focus on repositioning the additional hotels, to bring them in line with their existing properties, whilst ensuring individuality in each hotel. There will be a continued high level of focus on, standards that guests and bookers have come to expect from Countrywide Hotels, and for driving business from multiple channels.

There will also be a focus on managing the change in expectations with demand, along with strong controls on purchasing, which will support delivery of cash flow and ultimately profitability for the businesses.

Countrywide Hotels have a strong reputation for delivering returns, maximising the platforms potential. Known for their management of branded, white label and conversion Hotels. They also have a good relationship for debt funding and can match potential investors with the right assets.

For further information please visit www.countrywidehotels.co.uk

Venues will be more flexible on cancellation terms but are adding more robust contract clauses to cover potentially similar issues, according an HBAA survey on venue attitudes to commercial terms following the Covid-19 crisis.

The survey of 35 member venues, including 18 venue groups and 17 independent venues, also revealed that nearly all are still planning how to handle the additional costs resulting from social distancing and extra cleaning at present.

Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director of HBAA says: “This is a shared cost and one of which contributes to guest, employee and delegate safety so it is paramount today and for the future. These costs shouldn’t and can’t be automatically absorbed by venues.”

47% of independents and 44% of hotel groups are still in the planning stages of selling strategies for large meeting space. Many say they are waiting to see how the market settles down before committing to future strategies or at least outlining them.

However, after discussions about Force Majeure clauses, many venues are introducing new wording that specifically and clearly addresses pandemics and Government advice.

Surprisingly, independent venues, often renowned for having the opportunity to be agile in their operations, are behind group properties when it comes to flexibility over allowing customers to bring in their own food and in reorganising the working hours of their conference sales offices to meet the needs of agencies. 87% of independents and 61% of hotel groups expect to provide food in-house rather than enabling incoming deliveries of food for meetings and events, while 65% of independents and 82% of groups are flexing the working patterns of their conference bookings and finance teams to support all parties.

The survey also shows that nearly all venues recognise the need for a type of Covid-safe accreditation such as the Quality in Tourism’s 'Safe, Clean and Legal' to regain consumer confidence. They are working to gain accreditation if they haven’t done so already as well as continuing with their own standards, all to kick start confidence and enable industry recovery.

Juliet Price commented; “HBAA is committed to ensuring that the industry is #FutureFit and an important element of that is learning from the experiences of the last few months, and to be ready not only for a potential second wave, even locally, but also for the new reality. Our HBAA #FutureFit Live event scheduled for 6 October in Birmingham will explore this fully in person and bring it to life.”                                

#HBAAFutureFit

www.hbaa.org.uk

Further information relating to Friday’s announcement is now available on the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/31-july-announcement

This includes the below section on face coverings, and now impacts hotel public areas.

The status of face coverings in meeting rooms is being checked and we will further advise when clarified.

 Extract from the Government’s announcement - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/31-july-announcement

Where will people need to wear face coverings?

We are now recommending that face coverings are worn in additional indoor settings and this will be enforceable in law.    Currently you are required to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, indoor transport hubs and public transport.

For members of the public, from 8 August this will be expanded to include:

  • funeral directors
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers - other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • massage parlours.
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • places of worship
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • community centres
  • social clubs
  • tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites)
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • veterinary services
  • auction houses

We recommend face coverings are worn in these settings now, but this will not be mandatory until 8 August.

 

 

Pages

News archive