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Analysis

Expo Milano 2015: the year looks promising for hoteliers

In 2015, the renewal of activity that began on Milan's hotel sector last year should gain speed with the organization of the World Expo in Milan, which is expecting some 20 million visitors.

While Paris recently presented its projects for the World Expo 2025, Milan is busy making the last touches in preparation for Expo Milano 2015, from May 1 to October 31 with the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". Around 20 million visitors, including 6 to 8 million from other countries, are expected to visit the installations of about 140 countries represented and the sixty Italian pavilions.

According to its organizers, Expo Milano 2015 will have a positive impact on Italy's economy, particularly that of the Lombard capital. A study, carried out by the Chamber of Commerce of Milan and Expo 2015 Management Company for the period 2012-2020, estimated extra production at 23.6 billion euros and the number of jobs created by the event either directly or indirectly at 191,000. Tourism is certainly the sector that will benefit the most from the World Expo and its 4.5 billion euros of expected added value.

The city's hoteliers should be among the first to benefit and receive increased visibility due to the international reach. Expo Milano should also accelerate the recovery of their activity that began in 2014, as data published by MKG Hospitality shows. Across the year, the sector saw its occupancy rate increase by 2.5 points and its average daily rate increase by 1.6%, for growth by 5.4% in its Revenue per available room (RevPAR). This change in results is higher than the national average of 4.5% increase in the RevPAR.

These are all reasons that allow Milan's hoteliers to begin 2015 in good spirits while the uptrend continues at the beginning of the year, just a few months prior to the opening of the World Expo. Despite a 1.2 point drop in their occupancy rate in January, with respect to the previous year when the city hosted several sports events, hoteliers were able to make their average daily rates progress by 4.7% for 2.6% growth in their RevPAR. The latter should gradually climb as the opening of the World Expo approaches as those attending, notamment  international visitors in particular, should fill up the city's hotels.

As the event draws near, the Lombard capital's hotel supply has grown with several noteworthy openings such as two new MGallery, ME by Melià, and the very first Moxy Hotel (new chain developed by Marriott International and Ikea).
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