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May 2015: European hotel industry maintains its growth rate

The month of May was rather flowery for the European hotel industry, which recorded a further increase in performance. The growth in activity, however, is less significant than that of last months

In May the European hotel industry kept growing. If the occupancy rate remained at around 73% over the period (0.1 point higher than in May 2014), the 1.3% increase in the average price boosted the sector's activity. Close to 93 Euros, it allowed a 1.5% increase in hoteliers' Revenue per available room (RevPAR). Most hotel categories showed signs of growth, apart from the midscale segment where the RevPAR fell 0.1%. Conversely, despite a slight decline in occupancy, RevPAR in upscale hotels grew 2.6%.

Monthly chain results by category
May 2015

The Czech Republic is the country that registered the highest RevPAR increase (+35.1%). The hotel industry of the country fully took advantage of the organization of the 2015 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, and its impact on hotels' occupancy (+9.1 points in occupancy, reaching 81%). Industry professionals also counted on the attraction of the event with the Russian customers who returned to the country, after they shunned it in the first quarter of 2015. In Eastern Europe, Poland and Hungary also stand out by their good results, with a respective increase in their revenue per available room by 7.6% and 7.8%.

Southern Europe is also celebrating. Benefiting particularly from the Milan Universal Exhibition, Italy recorded an increase in its revenue per available room of 13.6% thanks to a double-digit increase in its average price (+12.8%). Spanish RevPAR also improved by 11.1%, mainly because of the good hotels attendance rates (+2.2 points). If growth in RevPAR is less marked in Portugal (+3.9%) than in the previous months, it is important to remember that the country had hosted the final of the Champions League, held in May 2014 in Lisbon.

Conversely, the prospect of May's traditional bank holidays has penalized French hotels where RevPAR fell slightly by 0.1%. Same story in Belgium, with a RevPAR fall of 5.2%, reflecting the aftermath of the organization of the European elections in May 2014, which had notably gathered the 28 heads of state of the union. Finally, as several biennial events such as the Aerospace Exhibition in Berlin did not take place this year, Germany saw its RevPAR plummet by 7%.

May thus confirms the growth of the European hotel industry observed in the first quarter of the year and highlights the optimism of industry professionals in the coming months. In the period from January to May 2015, the continental RevPAR was up 4.1% thanks to growth of 1.2 points in occupancy and 2.1% in the average price. After a flowery month, will the European hotel industry attend a cheerful year?

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