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December 2015: Major disparities in Europe, from one hotel market to the next

On the last month of 2015, certain European markets regrouping an important share of the hotel supply on the continent were hard hit by repercussions from the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, leading to stagnation of Europe's hotel activity despite the sector’s dynamism in several countries and on secondary markets.

Europe's hotel industry stagnated in December, producing zero change in the Revenue per available room (RevPAR), which remained 48.9 euros. The 1.7% improvement in the average daily rate to 85 euros only made up for the 1 point drop in occupancy, which fell to 57.5%. This phenomenon overshadows the strong impact of the attacks on November 13 on a limited number of markets that weigh down results for Europe's chain supply, while many destinations that are less represented on the continent stood out with double-digit growth in their RevPAR. In terms of hotel categories, the upscale played a determining role in maintaining positive growth in RevPAR performances (+0.5%). The economy segment was also able to post results similar to last year's (+0.1%), which the budget (-1.1%) and midscale (-0.6%) segments were not able to do.

Monthly results of hotel chains by category
December 2015

Although the impact of the terrorist attacks in Paris were attenuated by the arrival of World Leaders for Cop21, the impact of them on France's hotel industry (RevPAR -7.4%) was evident in December. In addition to Paris, which was directly impacted by canceled reservations, Lyon suffered from the cancellation of its traditional Festival of Lights further to a decision made the day after the terrorist attacks.

London was also affected by repercussions from the events in Paris, and closed the month with a 2.8% drop in its RevPAR. Considering the weight of the Greater London marketplace on the hotel market, this drop compensates the very positive dynamic of secondary British cities, leading to limited growth in the RevPAR in the country of Her most Gracious Majesty (+0.8% in December). The impact of these events was particularly strong in Belgium (RevPAR -18.2% on the month), even if the country produced globally positive results for the year 2015 (+4.5% on 12 months).

In Germany, developments in activity in December were variable from one city to the next (5% drop in the RevPAR in Munich, +1.6% increase in Berlin, stagnation in Frankfurt...). Although growth was weaker than in previous months, the country overall maintained positive growth in its activity with a RevPAR up by 2% in December 2015. But after the tragic events in Germany on New Year's Eve, the country also saw challenges arise in the ensuing weeks for its tourism activity due to security issues.

Monthly results of hotel chains by country
December 2015

While Greece's hotel industry (-0.6% in the RevPAR) continued to face a complicated situation, particularly with the arrival of migrants from Syria, most other European destinations came out of the period on top. Luxembourg's hotel industry (+13.1% of the RevPAR), for example, continued to benefit from its presidency of the European Union during the last month of its mandate. The Czech Republic (+14.8% of the RevPAR), Spain (+13.3% of the RevPAR), Poland (+11.3% of the RevPAR) and the Netherlands (+10.6% of the RevPAR) are other destinations that posted double-digit growth on the period.

Particularly noteworthy: in the Netherlands and Spain alike, "secondary" destinations posted better growth in their performances in that month, meaning that the domestic hotel context improved under the effect of their economies' rebound, while major urban markets were penalized this month by their higher volume of long courier clientèle scared off by the security tension in Europe.

While the consolidated trend in Europe's hotel industry is thus towards stagnation, the different markets followed very different trends in December 2015.

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