Saturday, February 24, 2024

HVS Report – The Rise of Third-Social gathering Lodge Operators in Europe

  There may be an growing variety of lodge administration corporations working resorts throughout Europe. Nevertheless, the depth of in-house sources and scale of operation and expertise can fluctuate broadly.

A assessment of third-party operators and the way they examine to the at the moment extra prevalent model operators in Europe.



In broad phrases, there are two forms of lodge administration corporations: branded operators and third-party operators.

Branded Operators: Within the case of a model operator, the branding firm can also be the administration firm. By signing a contract with a model operator, a lodge investor can contract each of those specialised parts of a lodge funding in a single settlement, reaping the advantages of a well known model and skilled administration. The usage of a model operator is historically most typical amongst bigger, full-service resorts.

Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Accor are examples of name administration corporations that function resorts along with offering the flag. This association doesn’t indicate, nonetheless, that every one of their properties are operated by the model; for instance, most have each brand-managed properties and franchised properties which can be managed by third-party operators or the homeowners themselves.

Third-Social gathering Operators: Third-party operators (TPOs) are unaffiliated with the proprietor or the franchise model and are also known as White Label operators within the UK. This enterprise mannequin, which emerged within the USA, has gained important traction in Europe in recent times. Within the case of a TPO, homeowners could receive branding utilizing a licensing settlement between the proprietor and a lodge model. The usage of TPOs has historically been most typical amongst small and mid-sized resorts, particularly for resorts which can be restricted service or prolonged keep. Nevertheless, this has advanced in recent times with many house owners selecting the companies of the extra skilled and credible TPOs for giant company and luxurious resorts.

There may be an growing variety of lodge administration corporations working resorts throughout Europe. Nevertheless, the depth of in-house sources and scale of operation and expertise can fluctuate broadly. Bigger corporations wouldn’t have a single lodge model they function; reasonably, they function a broad vary of lodge manufacturers.

Chart 1 reveals the evolution of the variety of resorts and rooms for main TPOs in Europe during the last decade. Since 2012, the variety of each resorts and rooms operated on this pattern grew by roughly 40% and is forecast to develop by a further 5% by 2025, based on current bulletins.

Chart 1: Evolution of Third-Social gathering Lodge Operators 2012-22 and Forecast Pipeline – Pattern of Main Operators in Europe

Evolution of Third-Party Hotel Operators 2012-22 and Forecast Pipeline – Sample of Major Operators in Europe

Supply: HVS Analysis

Development of Third-Social gathering Operators Fueled by the Rise in Franchising

During the last twenty years, most branded operators have moved from the operational administration of resorts to deal with model growth and distribution. This has led to an increase in the usage of franchising, whereby the enterprise proprietor can use the franchisor’s model identify, mental property, reservation system and operational assist instruments in alternate for paying a franchise price. This drive in direction of franchise fashions by the foremost manufacturers has arguably fuelled the rise in TPOs.

We current a comparability of the proportion of franchise agreements relative to the whole portfolios of among the largest manufacturers in Europe for the interval 2008 to 2022. All the main lodge manufacturers analysed elevated the variety of franchised belongings relative to their whole portfolios throughout the interval. While this may occasionally additionally point out the proportional enhance in restricted service and prolonged keep properties, the pattern is obvious.

Chart 2: The Proportion of Franchised Lodges in Manufacturers’ Portfolios in Europe

The Proportion of Franchised Hotels in Brands’ Portfolios in Europe

Sources: HVS; AM:PM Lodges

US Comparability – How A lot Additional Would possibly This Development Develop?

Within the USA, most franchised resorts within the midscale section and upwards are third-party managed. Texas-based Aimbridge Hospitality, for example, manages greater than 1,500 resorts within the USA, considerably greater than any of the foremost world lodge manufacturers and dwarfing the 372 resorts and 61,217 rooms managed by Hyatt Lodges, the most important branded lodge firm operator within the area. Highgate alone operates almost 10% of the whole market in Manhattan. HHM has a portfolio of greater than 135 resorts, all third-party-managed impartial and branded resorts. These examples point out the sheer measurement and potential of the TPO mannequin.

We’re of the opinion that different European markets, arguably led by the UK, will emulate the USA in that TPOs will develop into more and more common transferring ahead.

Australia/New Zealand Comparability

Equally to European markets, resorts in Australia and New Zealand are principally independently operated. Branded lodge inventory has elevated markedly within the area in recent times, nonetheless, and now equates to round 1 / 4 of the lodge inventory. Of the branded resorts, a 3rd fall below a franchise-model system with the lion’s share being brand-managed. We spotlight the variety of lodge administration agreements versus franchises for various lodge courses, primarily based on the variety of properties, within the chart under. As could be seen, conventional lodge administration agreements proceed to dominate.

Chart 3: Conventional Lodge Administration Agreements vs Franchises within the Australian Lodge Market

Traditional Hotel Management Agreements vs Franchises in the Australian Hotel Market

Sources: HVS; AM:PM Lodges

The TPO mannequin is far much less established in Australia and New Zealand, accounting for lower than 1.0% of whole provide. Given the evolving investor profile within the area and the expansion of TPOs with world attain, we’re prone to see a marked enhance within the TPO mannequin throughout Australia and New Zealand within the coming years. TPOs with an current presence within the area embrace Gatehouse Hospitality, 1834 Lodges, La Vie Lodges & Resorts and Vista Hospitality Group.

The Benefits of Third-Social gathering Administration

The expansion of third-party agreements displays an elevated need for flexibility from homeowners and a recognition that TPOs could drive greater income and be extra aligned with proprietor targets. We offer a short overview of some great benefits of such an association within the commentary under.

Time period

Competitors between TPOs to realize entry to new homeowners and markets has meant that many are keen to supply shorter phrases than that usually related to model administration. Whereas brand-managed properties usually require a time period of 20-30 years, excluding computerized extension intervals, typical agreements with TPOs are inclined to vary from 5-10 years. We have now, nonetheless, seen a lot shorter third-party agreements, with annual contracts often being awarded in turnaround-type eventualities. In our expertise, computerized extension intervals are comparatively unusual in third-party agreements.

Termination Rights

Branded working contracts usually embrace strict, typically pricey, provisions with regard to liquidated damages or termination charges. The method of most TPOs, alternatively, is often extra owner-friendly in terms of the break of the contract, with many such agreements offering homeowners with a proper to terminate at a comparatively low price within the occasion of a change of possession. This significantly improves the liquidity of the asset as homeowners can appeal to a wider pool of traders by means of the prospect of an unencumbered asset.

Horizontal Administration Constructions

In our expertise, company groups growing efficiency projections for TPOs are inclined to have direct involvement in operations, with fewer administration ranges between ‘administration contract gross sales’ and on-the-ground groups. In lots of instances, these liable for growing annual finances professional formas would be the identical regional operational personnel in the end liable for overseeing efficiency. Briefly, this usually improves reliability of projections and accountability for efficiency versus brand-managed operations.

Proprietor Engagement

Conventional model administration agreements include no means for the proprietor to pressure the supervisor to change payroll, apart from in reference to the supervisor’s proposed annual working finances. This may result in misalignment between the proprietor, who could take into account staffing ranges to be overloaded, and the administration, who take into account staffing constructions obligatory for model requirements. Some third-party agreements that we now have seen embrace month-to-month or quarterly proprietor conferences, with owner-friendly approval rights, whereby homeowners are in a position to touch upon staffing ranges and/or suggest the removing of the supervisor when they’re fairly thought-about to be underperforming.

Difficult Model Place

While all events, whether or not TPO or branded operator, worth each model integrity and high quality degree, there are sometimes events when model steerage or model normal modifications would impose further restrictions or prices on the proprietor. When TPOs are concerned, there’s the power to problem such steerage to make sure that it’s in the most effective pursuits of the proprietor and never simply the model.

Additional, not like model managers, TPOs will usually solely interact in model initiatives that genuinely enhance the lodge’s profitability, not these designed to bolster the power of the model. As well as, whereas model managers will at all times adhere to all model requirements, third-party managers will continuously problem manufacturers and push again when these are deemed excessively pricey.


Charges inside most HMAs have a tendency to include each base and incentive charges. These operator rewards are set towards enterprise efficiency outcomes. The bottom price is often set towards whole income, and the motivation price towards gross working revenue (GOP) or adjusted GOP (AGOP). The projected mixed whole of those remunerations throughout an working stabilised 12 months is a crucial measure for the operator, typically set towards a predetermined minimal worth.

The bottom price is mostly thought-about as the fundamental price for the supply of the model worth. That is the operator’s price of sources in assist of the supervision of the lodge administration crew and is often charged as a proportion of whole lodge income (web after VAT). It usually ranges from 2% to 4% in brand-managed agreements and from 1% to three% in TPO agreements.

The motivation price is taken into account a reward for efficiency, designed to inspire administration to manage working prices and be extra acutely aware of profitability. The motivation price is often scaled inside bands of proportion GOP. These bands are usually within the vary of 6% to 10% of GOP/AGOP in brand-managed agreements and 5% to eight% in TPO agreements.

Along with the above, particular person charges and system expenses inside model agreements serve to materially enhance price funds to operators. Such charges usually cowl companies akin to head workplace/cluster price allocations, accounting and audit prices, software program and assist licences, journey prices and advertising and marketing prices. These prices are usually streamlined or absent from most TPO agreements.

While the usage of a TPO typically implies further total charges, as administration charges are payable along with franchise charges on branded properties, third-party operators would declare that enhanced income efficiency and streamlined operational efficiencies greater than tip the steadiness of their favour.

Give attention to Worth

Traditionally, HMAs have recurrently demonstrated that homeowners and branded administration corporations can have conflicting expectations with regard to their respective roles, obligations and targets. While each model managers and TPOs search to maximise income and profitability, TPOs are sometimes moreover focussed (and sometimes compensated) on the worth of the proprietor’s funding. This has led to a number of TPOs widening the scope of their companies, performing as an advocate of the proprietor in contract negotiation with manufacturers. In lots of instances, the scope of third-party involvement can lengthen to asset administration, funding administration and design and development consultancy forms of roles, participating with not simply homeowners however wide-ranging stakeholders.

In some instances, we now have seen TPOs keen to contribute ‘sliver fairness’ to a lodge growth mission, repositioning or newly acquired asset, thereby decreasing the developer’s must contribute fairness. Equally, the notion of ‘sweat fairness’ in third-party administration agreements has elevated in reputation in recent times. Operators could also be keen to alternate decrease headline charges for a proportion of the fairness launched at exit. This can be within the type of a sale or refinance. On this construction, the pursuits of the operator and the proprietor develop into extra aligned on the worth of the asset in addition to underlying income.

Operational Benefits

There isn’t a clear pattern within the skill of TPOs to out-perform branded managers in terms of operational efficiency. Nevertheless, some bigger TPOs do profit from operational benefits. Much less restricted by model dogma and steerage, TPOs can react extra rapidly to altering macro and property-specific circumstances. This consists of endeavor impartial income methods (except for model cluster pricing) and selecting (as a franchisee) which model programmes to take part in. This entrepreneurialism permits some operators to assert overperformance relative to conventional model administration.

Equally, we now have seen instances whereby branded operators are solely in a position to enter into provide contracts or subleases which meet model approval. In distinction, many TPOs will provide competitively priced contract procurement that’s applicable for the lodge in query. TPOs can also be required to account to the proprietor for any reductions or advantages it receives in order that they are often priced into budgets or handed onto the proprietor. These provisions could assist keep away from the proprietor being overcharged for companies.

UK Case Examine – RBH Hospitality Administration

RBH Hospitality Administration is a number one third-party lodge administration firm within the UK. The group has a 20-year observe file, having efficiently operated greater than 190 resorts and 26,000 bedrooms. It’s a key companion for IHG, Accor, Marriott and Hilton, but additionally has in depth expertise of working impartial resorts. The group gives a serious capital crew in-house which has overseen the mission administration and technical assist of fifty new-build resorts and 14 lodge rebrands. As well as, the group supplies asset administration companies to homeowners, together with advising on capital expenditure tasks supported by the operator’s design and growth crew. The group has expertise of materially growing asset worth by means of such initiatives.

RBH has quite a lot of examples of efficiently transitioning resorts from direct model administration to franchise. One such instance concerned the transition of greater than 20 massive resorts beforehand managed by a model. Lots of the resorts had been reliant on MICE enterprise and lots of had in extra of 300 visitor rooms. By a complete cost-saving plan, the operator elevated annual EBITDAR by greater than £14 million, representing a 5% enhance in margin. The operator additionally achieved a notable enhance in visitor satisfaction over the identical interval. The operator’s marketing strategy could be summarised into three key areas.

Payroll and Staffing

  • A complete assessment of payroll enabled a restructuring of key departments, offering higher effectivity with out impacting visitor expertise;
  • Key payroll bills had been saved upon transition with greater than £800,000 of financial savings in model journey and subsistence cross expenses;
  • Implementation of RBH coaching programmes, motivating and enthusing crew members which improved engagement and, subsequently, productiveness.


  • By implementing RBH processes and procedures, from visitor provides by means of to HR accounting modifications, important financial savings had been recognized. Many of those financial savings had been higher than initially anticipated by means of the renegotiation of current provider relationships and bulk-buying energy, given the elevated RBH portfolio measurement;
  • New key efficiency indicator (KPI) targets had been launched for all resorts, which resulted in materials financial savings in linen, printing and stationery, meals and beverage, worker relations {and professional} companies charges.

Income Administration

  • By RBH’s business management crew, the group recognized quite a few ADR alternatives throughout the portfolio;
  • The RBH Central Gross sales crew refocussed the enterprise combine throughout the portfolio, focussing on elevated contribution from extra worthwhile company teams and incentives on the expense of current lower-rated company contracts with last-room availability. Consequently, within the first 12 months of managing the portfolio, RevPAR throughout the portfolio elevated by 4.5%.

Labored Instance

Within the following desk, we take into account the impression of a revenue and loss account below brand-managed and TPO eventualities. For the needs of this evaluation, we now have assumed a 200-room midmarket lodge in a regional UK market.

Underneath the brand-managed situation, we now have assumed a base administration price of three.0% of whole income and an incentive price of 8.0% of AGOP (GOP after the bottom administration price). For the TPO situation, we now have equally thought-about typical price preparations, assuming a base administration price of 1.5% of whole income and an incentive price equating to six.0% of AGOP. As well as, as a part of the third-party situation, we now have accounted for a franchise price of 6.0% of rooms income and a pair of.0% of non-rooms income. We have now additionally accounted for potential price financial savings as mentioned all through this text throughout the TPO situation.

As could be seen, this instance displays a better revenue margin below the TPO than the brand-managed situation. While that is supplied as an indicative instance solely, it does replicate our expertise of profitability below each eventualities.

We have now not mirrored any potential revenue-enhancement measures throughout the TPO situation. Nevertheless, these could embrace initiatives akin to optimised yield administration by means of a full property administration system (PMS) improve, elevated flexibility to revamp and enhance meals and beverage ideas and/or any profit from entry to current TPO company contracts. Additional, further price measures such because the renegotiation of FF&E inside a possible franchise association have additionally not been mirrored.

Chart 4: P&L Comparability – Hypothetical 200-Room Midmarket Lodge

P&L Comparison – Hypothetical 200-Room Midmarket Hotel

Supply: HVS


The benefits of HMAs are effectively understood. Equally, their pitfalls have additionally been effectively documented. While the pendulum of bargaining energy has swung towards homeowners over latest years, the selection of operator will not be clear lower.

It may be argued that the basic focus of manufacturers stays the model’s success, and that this could battle with the pursuits of householders. The growing reputation of third-party managers is, in our view, because of the perceived alignment of pursuits, particularly concerning asset worth and profitability. Nevertheless, completely different homeowners and properties require various responses. Understanding the tradition, capabilities, scale of in-house sources and expertise of every group is essential to making sure these priorities which can be most crucial to the success of an proprietor’s particular funding’s wants. A few of these components could embrace native market data, mission section (below development, open, mature), and asset kind, amongst others.

Third-party managers shouldn’t be perceived as solely a competitor to lodge chains – certainly, they are often complementary. Owing to their shut relationship with franchisors, and the relative flexibility of the franchise mannequin, impartial administration corporations have develop into key to growing relationships between manufacturers and lodge homeowners on a big scale. This pattern is simply prone to enhance transferring forwards, with an increase within the variety of credible and established TPOs.

The content material of this text is meant to supply a basic information to the subject material. Specialist recommendation needs to be sought regarding your particular circumstances.

About Nikola Miljković

Nikola Miljković is a Senior Affiliate with the HVS London workplace. Earlier than becoming a member of HVS, Nikola gained lodge operational expertise in London and Zagreb. He holds a Bachelor’s diploma in Tourism and Lodge Administration from VERN’ College in Zagreb and a Grasp’s diploma in Hospitality Enterprise with a specialisation in Actual Property and Finance from Glion Institute of Greater Training. His predominant obligations at HVS embrace valuations of single belongings and lodge portfolios, feasibility research, and market analysis throughout the EMEA area. For additional info, please contact:

About Jon Critchley

Jon Critchley, MRICS is a director at HVS Hodges Ward Elliott. He’s a certified Chartered Surveyor and has 15 years’ expertise in the true property business, specializing in the lodge sector for over a decade. He has beforehand held senior positions at Avison Younger, Knight Frank and CBRE. Having labored on single belongings, lodge portfolios and growth tasks all through EMEA, Jon has suggested on effectively over €20 billion of hospitality belongings and buy-side advisory tasks within the final decade. For extra info, contact:

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