A new event for hoteliers in the boutique accommodation sector is due to be held in London next year, with organisers Single Market Events (SME) London and Fresh Montgomery recently announcing Independent Hotel 12 will be hosted at Olympia's West Hall in October 2012. Managing director of SME London Tim Etchells believes now is "the right time" for the industry to have its own dedicated exhibition. "The independent hotel sector has gained enormous strength over the past five years, with between 100 and 150 hotels opening each year," he explained. Mr Etchells also pointed out over two-thirds of the 45,000 hotels in the UK are independently run.
The organisers highlighted the growth within the sector, noting 40 per cent of hoteliers are intending to open now establishments in the UK, with 50 per cent of operators also aiming to refurbish existing locations. Furthermore, 77 per cent of hoteliers in the UK do not currently attend any industry exhibitions, with SME London hoping Independent Hotel 12 will fill this gap.
Earlier this year, a similar event was held for European hoteliers - Boutique Hotel Summit - with organiser Piers Brown optimistic about the prospects for independent establishments in the marketplace. "The boutique hotel sector is a fascinating market which is evolving at a rapid rate," he claimed. One of the emerging trends identified at this event is the development of budget hotels within the industry, with attendees identifying this as a key area to focus on. Moving away from a brand image towards a more individual approach is also important for operators in the boutique sector, panellists at the exhibition added.
Among the themes to be explored during Independent Hotel 12 will be furnishing and interior design in boutique establishments, advances in software programmes, technology and entertainment, as well as marketing and making use of support services. According to the organisers, delegates will have the chance to interact with representatives from a range of related sectors, as well as attend sessions and presentations led by experts.
- Monday 19 December 2011