LinkedIn blog by Eduard Elias, Cycas co-founder:
2018 proved a hugely significant year for Cycas Hospitality. As well as marking a decade since we established the business and pioneered the concept of branded extended-stay hotels in Europe, it was also a year of exciting growth.
We made major strides with our plans to have 10,000 rooms across Europe by 2022 by extending our portfolio into Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. We opened Europe’s biggest Residence Inn, and the brand’s third largest hotel in the world; helped Hyatt bring the double-decker hotel concept to Europe, opened the first dual-branded property in the North of England and welcomed two new brands to the Cycas family; Courtyard by Marriott by London City Airport and the Element at Frankfurt Airport.
Our goal has always been to be the partner of choice for global hotel groups and investors, and to make our properties the best places to work as well as stay. So we were especially thrilled to be crowned the Best Employer in British hospitality at The Cateys Awards 2018. What’s more, my fellow co-founder John Wagner won the lifetime achievement award at the Serviced Apartment Awards for his role in bringing the branded extended-stay concept to Europe.
From an industry perspective, 2018 was also the year that extended-stay went officially mainstream, according to Savills. The larger extended-stay operators have reported average annual growth of 6.1% per year since 2015, with a 52% increase in global stock during 2018, helping establish aparthotels and serviced apartments as their own sub-sector. Importantly, this growth is set to continue, with major operators expected to increase supply by 39.4% by the end of 2022 – the equivalent of more than 13,000 new units entering the market. This is hugely exciting and demonstrates how investors and customers alike are embracing alternative accommodation options.
As I write, Brexit continues to make headlines and the industry continues to speculate about the potential impact to business. At Cycas, we know that a successful hotel is underpinned by its staff, so our culture team continues to explore recruitment initiatives that could help us weather the shortage of labour and talent that the UK could potentially face. The strategy we began with our first extended-stay hotel in 2008 to hire frontline staff by personality rather than previous hotel experience remains just as important today, and we continue to target mature workers keen to make hospitality their second career.
Uncertainty aside, Brexit also presents some opportunities for the sector, with a weakened pound having the potential to make the UK a more popular destination for both international and domestic travellers, and increasing demand across the hospitality sector. While international tourists will be keen to capitalise on any fall in the value of sterling, the greater affordability of holidaying closer to home could also make staycations a popular choice for Brits.
We’ve certainly set the bar very high for 2019. But, with the Cycas portfolio having more than doubled in size in the last year alone – with hotel numbers under contract growing from 11 to 23 and the total rooms we manage increasing by 155%, from 1,450 to 3,708 – we look forward to matching this success in the year ahead.
After ten successful years, the market continues to support new hotel supply. Regardless of the geopolitical backdrop, Cycas Hospitality therefore looks forward to venturing into new markets, building further on our existing relationships with investors and international brands and ensuring we continue to deliver best in-class service for all our guests.
With an expanded team in place and unrivalled partnerships with some of the world’s most successful hotel groups, 2019 is set to be another record year for Cycas. Get in touch with our development team and join Cycas Hospitality on the next stage of our journey.
Original blog post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/looking-ahead-2019-eduard-elias/