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Investing in the North’s leisure & hotel market: capturing the potential of wellbeing and experience economy trends

October 7, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

In partnership with Therme Group, join Charlie Schouten, React News’ Northern correspondent and a panel of industry experts to discuss:

  • Why investment in leisure and wellbeing in the North is an attractive commercial proposition
  • Defining the “experience economy” and how Therme Group and others are building experiential destinations
  • The performance of the region’s hotel market and how capacity will be able to accommodate new leisure trends
  • The role of wellbeing in recovering from the pandemic and how this can be leveraged by operators and developers
  • How the provision of leisure, wellbeing and hotel destinations in the North compares to other areas of the country


Adrian Ion

Adrian Ion

VP of Corporate Finance, CFO at Therme Group

Adrian Ion is the CFO of Therme Group and VP for Corporate Finance, responsible for managing the group’s financial strategy, its relationship with investors and funding partners and day-to-day financial operations. Prior to joining Therme Group, Adrian held senior roles at Ares Management, where he was the Finance Director of a $4bn European real estate platform, Deutsche Asset Management, where he was the Chief Financial Officer of the European Alternatives Group and Barings, the global investment management firm. Adrian champions the development of a sustainable finance framework dedicated to delivering wellbeing outcomes and the use of ESG metrics, alongside traditional financial KPIs, to measure the impact of business on people and the planet. Adrian is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a member of the Investment Property Forum.

James Whittaker

James Whittaker

Executive Director of Development at Peel L&P

James is a Chartered Surveyor and joined the Peel group in 1995 after working for 2 years with Healey & Baker (Cushman & Wakefield) in London. Initially he joined as a Lettings Manager for The Trafford Centre one of the UK’s most prestigious shopping centres.

In 2000 James joined the Development team and has been responsible for the delivery of many different and diverse developments throughout the UK.

In 2008 he was appointed Director of Development. The division is currently involved in over £30 billion of regeneration projects in the UK and overseas. He was awarded Property Week’s North West Property Personality of the year in 2009.

Eleanor Scott

Eleanor Scott

Director, Strategy& Travel & Leisure, PwC

Eleanor is a Director in Strategy&’s travel and leisure practice. Eleanor has 20 years’ experience of strategy consulting, working with clients across the travel and leisure industries. Functional areas of expertise include corporate and business unit strategy development, customer insights, market entry, M&A strategy and commercial due diligence. Eleanor has extensive experience across all areas of travel and leisure, including travel operators and intermediaries, restaurants, food to go, pubs, gyms and multi-site leisure.

Michael O’Hare

Michael O’Hare

Director – Hotels & Resorts Consulting at Colliers

Michael has more than 30 years of experience in the international hotel sector and has specialised in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia/CIS since 1989 and is considered to be a leading expert in this region. He has worked on a wide variety of assignments from mixed-use developments to hotels and resorts to strategic and tourism development projects. Since joining Colliers in London, he has primarily been involved in introducing international investors to acquisition opportunities in the UK and Western Europe. Michael has worked extensively on multi-use developments both in the UK and internationally including large scale resort development for both public and private sector clients and financial institutions.

Therme Group is a world-leading creator of wellbeing resorts. Its projects bring ancient thermal bathing concepts into the 21st Century. Through state-of-the-art technologies and spectacular architecture, its resorts harness water, nature and culture to create a unique experience. Already established in Germany and Romania, Therme plans to open its first UK venue in Manchester in 2023. Therme Group puts environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations at the core of its business and partners with investors and financiers that share its vision of delivering wellbeing for all.


October 7, 2021
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


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Charlie Schouten – React News Northern Correspondent