Seems as if the consolidation and rationalisation that we have seen in the global hotel sector in particular in 2016 is spreading.
Recently holiday park group Park Holidays has been bought by a private equity firm in a £362m deal, just days after rival Parkdean Resorts revealed it was to be bought for £1.35bn. And at the same time smaller perhaps under-capitalised and perhaps under managed businesses, or the ones that are less nimble, less savvy, go to the wall. Lifestyle Living UK, which employs just 50 people on sites in Norfolk and Suffolk has gone into administration.
So is this the beginning of the end for this sector, squeezed as it is by lifestyle changes that mean the core market is now at an age that it is no longer travelling at all whilst the replacement younger generations are attracted either by the world opened up by budget airlines or the competing offers in the sharing economy? Or is the sector ripe for the sort of radical reorganisation seen in the hotel and other sectors where brands are managed separately to the operation and where the asset is managed separately from the operation and the brand? Sitting here in Devon where every second bay and hillside seems to have a holiday home complex of some description and new “cabins” are trucked past my front door, I suspect the end of the sector’s appeal is a long long way off.
There must be great opportunities for both organic growth and growth through acquisition.
Interested in your views