Australia: Quest Apartment Hotels has revealed its strategy for expanding in to the UK in 2016.
The group will use some of the investment it received from its
deal with The Ascott Ltd to develop serviced apartments in London's
suburbs and other regions where the market for apartment hotels is
Quest chief executive officer Zed Sanjana said there is demand in Britain given that just five to seven per cent of all accommodation in the UK is made up of aparthotels, while the sector made up a quarter of Australia's market.
"No one has captured and dominated the market in the UK. They have a lot of old and unbranded stock in the UK, that accounts for about 70 per cent of their hotels," said Mr Sanjana, a chartered accountant and lawyer. This will keep us busy, I think the market is there. But we are not going to kid ourselves. It will be difficult. We need to build a brand from scratch like we did in New Zealand."
The search for suitable sites will begin in January.
It's a daunting task entering a new market with your business, particularly when the new market is on the other side of the world. But don't bet against Quest becoming a force to be reckoned with in the UK. The company is expanding rapidly in Australia, where its franchise model is extremely popular, and its recent deal with Ascott means it has a considerable development war chest at its disposal.
Quest has been a hit in Australia partly due to its strategy of targeting secondary locations, where demand from business travellers is high. In the UK it will be competing more with the likes of Premier Inn and Travelodge than Ascott and Frasers, and it will be no surprise to see them grow at an impressive rate once they have the UK ball rolling.