Minor Hotels hails UK market as 200 more properties to open worldwide

Minor Hotels chief executive Dillip Rajakarier has underlined the importance of the UK as a source market as the business aims to open a further 200 hotels worldwide in the next two years.

The group’s eight brands currently boast a total of 550 hotels and resorts across 56 countries, with Rajakarier indicating that strong progress is being made towards the target for the end of 2026.

He highlighted the UK as a “key market” for the company, adding: “In spite of the headwinds the UK has been facing with inflation and the cost of living, we’re seeing a steady growth from UK customers.”

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Last year’s financial results were Minor Hotels’ best-ever, said Rajakarier, while the 2024 performance is shaping up to be “even better”.

“For Q2 and Q3, the outlook is quite strong – especially for Europe and also in Asia because we see that travel and tourism is not tapering off,” he said.

UK travellers’ favoured destinations include Portugal, Spain, Italy and Dubai, according to Rajakarier, with the southern European season extending “in both directions”.

He said he expects to see increasing levels of travel in the shoulder seasons because prices are lower and the weather is “good”.

“That could become a new trend,” he said, adding that other trends that have already been established are the heightened interest in wellness-related activities as well as a reduction in the number of holidays in favour of longer durations.

“We’ve seen the UK and most of the European markets taking fewer holidays but for a longer period of time,” he said.

“That’s the new trend we’ve seen and I think it’s mainly driven by the cost of flights. Especially if you’re a family, the cost of flights has really gone up.”

The new openings, which will boost the group’s portfolio by almost 40%, will involve the European brands growing in Asia and vice versa, with the expectation that all brands will soon benefit by being brought under a single booking platform.

“We’re bringing all our brands under Minor Hotels and that’s quite a major initiative. We’ll be able to sell under one platform,” said Rajakarier.

The brands are Anantara Hotels & Resorts; Avani Hotels & Resorts; Elewana Collection; Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites; NH Hotels; NH Collection; nhow Hotels; and Tivoli Hotels & Resorts.

Trade bookings account for about half of Minor Hotels’ UK outbound business, and the company confirmed it values fam trips. All itineraries for the latter are tailormade and feature “signature experiences”, including cooking classes and spa treatments.

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