Shearings is stepping up plans for growth following its recently announced management buyout and investment partnership with the Moorfield Real Estate Funds.
The plans include circa £15m of investment in hotel refurbishment over the next three years, with more than £5m planned for 2015. This represents a 40% increase over the 2014 spend and by the end of 2017, more than half of the operator’s 4,000 hotel rooms across the UK will have been fully refurbished The investment follows another strong summer in which passenger volume increased by 2%, summer bookings hit a record high and hotel occupancy rates averaged 93% over the period.
Caroline Brown, the company's commercial director, said: “Consumer confidence appears to be on the up, and in response to this we’re looking to introduce a raft of enhanced added-value services and facilities to further improve customer experience. These include free Wi-Fi across our hotels and coach interchanges, plus a suite of new mobile-optimised websites featuring improved functionality – including independent reviews hosted by Feefo to help customers when researching their holiday.
"We also plan to continue upgrading our coach fleet, which has already seen us invest more than £44m in new coaches over the last five years. We are currently talking to coach manufacturers about our 2015 requirements. New product development continues to be of huge importance to our business and recently this has resulted in the launch of ‘Your Time’ - a dedicated programme for independent travellers, as well as the continued expansion of the successful ShowTime programme introduced by our National Holidays brand.”