Luxury travel firm Belmond is working on 50 to 60 deals as part of significant expansion plans.
Of the deals in the pipework, chief executive Roeland Vos described 10 to 12 as being “active”, of which he believed some would complete and see properties converted to the Belmond brand.
He said they were a mixture of management deals and acquisitions.
Speaking onboard the Belmond British Pullman Train, Vos told Travel Weekly the company was on target for its ambitions to double its portfolio of hotels, trains and cruise ships, as well as doubling the company’s earnings before interest and tax, both before 2020. He first announced his ambitions at ILTM in 2016.
Currently Belmond has 37 hotels, seven train experiences and two river boat cruise experiences.
Vos said the majority of deals would result in hotels added to the portfolio but that he didn’t rule out adding more trains and cruises.
He indicated there were many places around the world with a luxury train offering which would fit Belmond’s model.
Vos said: “In 2016 we put an ambitious growth plan in place to grow our portfolio and our EBITA.
“We planned to do this in this in three ways – firstly by investing in our current portfolio and making sure it is of the right standard throughout, secondly by raising our brand awareness, and thirdly by adding new hotels, train experiences and cruise experiences.
“We are mid-way through the timeframe we set ourselves and I’m excited to say it is coming to life as we wanted it to. We have added properties, and we will bring more hotels, trains and boats into the portfolio.”
Vos said the firm would fund future growth in part by selling some properties currently owned by the group but maintaining the management of those locations.
The UK is Belmond’s second biggest market worldwide and the top European market, making up 12% of bookings (the equivalent of 80,000 room nights).
“We believe opening Belmond Cadogan Hotel in December will raise our awareness greatly in London and the UK,” Vos said.
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