UK expansion in sight for Irish hotelier Dalata Group as profits soar
Ireland’s biggest hotel group posted full-year results wh...
Dalata Group has reported a huge 75% jump in pre-tax profits to €77.3 million (£68.3mn).
Ireland’s biggest hotel group posted full-year results which showed that turnover rose 20% from €290.6m (£256.6m) to €348.5m (£307.7m) and room occupancy also grew marginally from 82.1% to 82.3% across the group’s portfolio.
Thanks to the company’s success, Dalata Group is preparing to reward shareholders this year with their first dividends this year, with the first shareholder payout set to be announced September at its half-year results.
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The Irish hotelier, which owns the Maldron and Clayton brands, currently has a portfolio consists of 38 hotels with over 7,600 rooms, with an additional 2,234 rooms currently being developed.
This year it intends to open around 1,000 new rooms across its portfolio.
Dalata Group said that it would focus its growth in twenty target cities across the UK.
In the long-term, it is also exploring expansion opportunities in Europe, with sites in Germany and the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) cited as attractive locations.
CEO Pat McCann said he was proud of the progress made by the company in 2017 and that he was impressed with the company’s performance in the UK market.
"The team at Dalata have delivered another year of strong earnings growth and met our target to announce 1,200 new rooms per year," he said
"2015, 2016 and 2017 were busy years at Dalata and 2018 will be no different. I am really excited about the pipeline of hotels that we are opening in 2018."
He added: "Our development team are actively looking for new sites located in our twenty target cities across the United Kingdom. I am very excited about the quantity and quality of opportunities that are coming our way at present.”
Accor hotels ready to welcome back LGBTQ+ guests
The global hotel industry, Accor, and the International LGBTQ + Tourism Association (IGLTA), the largest association for the promotion of LGBTQ + tourism, have begun an international partnership.
Inclusivity in the travel sector
Accor and IGLTA aim to ensure that the hotel sector represents a secure and inclusive space for all and will promote equal reception in the travel sector. LGBTQ+ holidaymakers are no longer a secretive niche market.
Axel Hotels was founded in 2003, aimed exclusively at LGBTQ+ travelers who wanted to stay in a place where they knew they would be welcomed. The following year, Sandals Resorts lifted a ban on same-sex travellers sharing a bedroom in its Caribbean resorts.
In 2019, the LGBTQ+ community rallied with its allies, in a boycott of several hotel chains, including London’s The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as well as the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. These hotels were owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who declared that in a new law, gay citizens in the tiny Asian nation would be stoned to death. High profile figures such as George Clooney publicly supported the boycott and eventually, the Sultan revoked the law.
Unlike the Sultan of Brunei, the Accor Group identified the economic and social benefits of LGBTQ + tourism and of the need for all travelers to feel welcome.
In addition to this new partnership, Accor has previously implemented internal inclusion policies, created webinars for staff training and been involved in Pride events.
Making the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome
“We are proud to be one of the companies that supports and promotes LGBTQ + tourism”, declares Steven Daines, CEO Talent & Culture, Accor. “With more than 260,000 employees in 110 countries, diversity is an integral part of the Accor Group; it is the very foundation of our identity and our culture. Accor is committed to doing everything to make the LGBTQ + community feel welcome in its hotels. We are convinced that the collaboration announced today with IGLTA will make it possible to materialise the Group's desire to establish itself as the benchmark, in the hotel sector, for our employees as well as for LGBTQ + customers.”
“We are delighted to formalize this partnership to promote LGBTQ + travel,” said John Tanzella, Chairman and CEO, IGLTA. "The desire expressed by Accor to create reassuring experiences and the best welcome to LGBTQ + travelers, and to defend diversity within its teams, is perfectly in line with the mission of IGLTA and the work carried out by our other international partners."