Spotlight on Wales

Wales is a particularly good location to run a hospitality business, according to official tourism statistics* which showed a rise in occupancy figures across all accommodation types this Summer.

Wales – an increasingly popular hospitality business choice

The figures revealed significant growth in the number of people using hotels, hostels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering units between July 2016 and June 2017:

  • At 68% the occupancy rate for hotels rooms was the highest of all, increasing one percentage point when compared with the previous 12 months.
  • Guest houses and Bed and Breakfast occupancy rates stood at 40%, a 2 percentage point increase over the same period.
  • Self-catering units increased by 4 percentage points to 56%, and hostel bed space increased by 3 percentage points to 52%.

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates commented :  “In what is an extremely competitive market place, these latest occupancy statistics show a strong picture for tourism in Wales and continue to reflect the success we have experienced over the last two years.

“We will continue with our campaign work to promote Wales to both domestic and foreign markets to ensure that we make the most of the opportunities to attract overseas visitors and those looking to holiday at home due to the weak pound.”

Hospitality finance for Wales

As specialist hospitality finance experts, we have helped a number of proprietors to take advantage of these trends and establish guest houses in Wales over the last couple of years, including:

Chris and Sandra decided that they wanted to run their own bed and breakfast business and set about looking for a suitable business to buy.  After looking at several properties they eventually came upon Tir-y-Coed in North Wales.

Tir-y-Coed Country House is a beautiful former gentleman’s residence built in the late Victorian era.  The property is located in the village of Rowen inside the very popular Snowdonia National Park.  The property nestles in over an acre of beautiful, mature landscape gardens and provides a peaceful 5* experience for its guests.

The bed and breakfast has 6 en-suite bedrooms all furnished and decorated to a high standard.  The rooms are spacious and light and situated on the first floor.  On the ground floor there is a modern garden room, bar and balcony all enjoying a South facing aspect overlooking the grounds.  Tir-y-Coed is one of the finest country houses in the area, with an established trade, offering guests free WiFi, a fully licensed bar and restaurant.

Our client Kate found a beautiful bed and breakfast in Mid/North Wales located just outside the popular holiday destination of Barmouth and situated right next to the beach.

Morwendon House had been a bed and breakfast for a number of years and the owners had decided it was time to retire, providing the perfect opportunity for Kate to purchase a going concern but one which she could also put her own stamp on and develop the trade going forward.

Kate had never run a bed and breakfast before and sensibly invested in attending a B&B course to learn the ropes.  She also sought the advice of our specialist hospitality finance team at Stewart Hindley & Partners. Although it wasn’t all plain sailing, we were able to negotiate on her behalf with the lender, valuer and vendors and eventually secure a hospitality loan agreement acceptable to all parties so that the purchase could move forward.

Lee Scott found his perfect property in Llandudno, close to the Great Orme Railway and town centre. The business had been trading but, in the past year or so, the owners retired and ceased trading the concern. They did, however, leave the guest house in a state where it could be traded almost straight away bar a few immediate updates.

However, the lack of recent business accounts meant that the hospitality loan application would be mainly premised on projections, which is always a more challenging position from which to apply for a hospitality loan. The fact that the property was located in such a popular holiday destination helped and, with Stewart Hindley & Partners’ experience, we were able to make a successful application on Lee’s behalf.  We supported Lee with his bank meeting and commercial valuation arrangements and made sure he was kept up to date on progress throughout the purchase.

Lee took possession of The Capri Guest House (May 2017) where a warm, friendly welcome awaits those looking for a seaside holiday in North Wales.

If you are looking to start up, or purchase an existing hospitality business, wherever that may be, then why not contact our friendly team of specialist advisors now for advice and information on the best hospitality finance packages available today.