Glasgow standout performer as EasyHotel cashes in on strong demand from cost-conscious travellers
EasyHotel has highlighted a “particularly strong” performance at its Glasgow establishment as the chain cashes in on demand for budget business travel and staycations.
The hotels business, which was founded in 2004 by serial entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and also has a site on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, said trading in the year to the end of September had been strong, with more than £62 million of total system sales across owned, leased and franchised hotels. Bosses said the positive momentum had continued into the current financial year.
Pent-up demand from business and leisure customers is said to have continued to build over the course of the year as travel re-opened following the lifting of Covid restrictions, workers returned to offices and European cities saw the return of large-scale events. The chain also witnessed increased demand due to expansion in Europe and “heightened brand awareness”. Like-for-like revenue per available room, or RevPAR, a key industry measure, was up 37 per cent, on owned and leased estate hotels.
Particularly strong performances were seen from the group’s Glasgow and Barcelona hotels which are said to have both benefited from the rescheduling of major international events. Across its franchised estate, comprising 26 hotels with 1,987 rooms, EasyHotel has seen particularly strong trading in its Benelux hotels, which achieved record sales figures over the summer.
Chief executive Karim Malak said: “Our strategic focus on offering low-carbon, high-quality, affordable hotels has underpinned a strong trading recovery. In an inflationary economy, the strength of the EasyHotel brand and our ability to offer our customers excellent value have been key drivers behind our growth in market share. The relaunch of our brand promise - super easy, super price and super low carbon - has been particularly important in helping us build on this further, appealing to new customers seeking more sustainable, fuss free and affordable hotel stays.
“The year has also seen us implement a number of operational and commercial improvements over the course of the year that will stand us in strong stead for the year ahead as we continue to progress our ambitious growth plans to increase our estate to 100 hotels across Europe by 2026, with 51 owned and franchised hotels in 13 different countries planned to open in the next 18 months.”
Chairman Harm Meijer added: “EasyHotel has demonstrated its resilience throughout the pandemic and we’ve seen a return to strong trading in [the 2022 financial year]. We are also making good progress with our ambitious expansion plans to become the European leader in affordable, low-carbon hotels. We recently announced the purchase of eight Benelux franchise hotels as part of our European growth drive and have exciting plans in the pipeline to capitalise on the pent-up demand for travel from both business and leisure travellers.”
EasyHotel currently has an estate of 42 hotels in ten countries, offering more than 4,000 rooms. Its UK portfolio includes sites in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The business was founded by Sir Stelios, who also set up discount airline EasyJet, and is now 79.1 per cent owned by ICAMAP Investments and Ivanhoé Cambridge.