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Amsterdam, new hotel concepts to land on the city’s shores

Motivated by growth in the number of both leisure and business tourists and by the increasing number of nights, real estate investors and promoters do not shy away from developing new properties and new accommodations concepts in Amsterdam. The city on canals is gradually becoming a playground for architects and hotel developers from all over the world.

All is for the best along the canals of Holland’s capital, which is a major economic and financial center for both the country and Europe. Amsterdam is also a highly prized tourist destination on the continent, as growth in its tourism results showed over the last decade. While the number of visitors to the city was 6 million in 2013, the last barometer for the city’s tourist office showed growth by 11.3% in terms of nights realized in Amsterdam’s accommodations in 2014. It should thus surpass the 12.5 million threshold thanks to an increased presence of foreign travellers (which were up by 12.3% in 2014) and also domestic clientele (with an 8.5% increase in number of nights).

These results are naturally reflected in the city’s hotel performances. Data published by MKG Hospitality for 2014 show 5.1% growth in Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Amsterdam, driven by 2 points growth in occupancy rate and 2.5% growth in the average daily rate on the period. 2015 also looks like a good -even better- year with occupancy rates that continue to rise at properties during the first five months of the year. The occupancy rate thus gained 3 points to reach 77.6%, while the average daily rate grew by 5.2%, to 113.5 euros. Bolstered by these two increases, the Revenue per available room climbed 9.4%.

Change in hotel performance in Amsterdam between 2014 and 2015

During the year 2014, primary source markets for the destination proved to be dynamic. The improved growth in terms of nights realized is thus thanks to German (+19.1% with respect to last year), British (+15.5%), and Italian (+13.3%) tourists. Americans (+11%), French (+10.9%), Spanish (+4.1%) and Belgians (+7%) are also on a growth curve. Several distant markets also posted strong growth in their number of nights, such as India (+32.1%), Turkey (16.3%) and South Korea (+16.7%). Inversely, the drop in the rouble brought led to a decrease in the number of Russian tourists (-3.8%) while Chinese (-5.5%) and Japanese (-4.7%) tourists were less numerous to travel.

Tourism equipment adapted to business tourism

Regardless of nationality, business and MICE tourists play an important role in the industry. In 2014 its growth resulted in Amsterdam climbing four rungs in the ICCA, which counts the number of large, far reaching meetings held there. 12th internationally in 2013 with 120 events, it rose to 8th position in the ranking last year with 133 conventions and trade fairs. The Dutch capital has now surpassed Istanbul, Lisbon, Seoul and Prague.

The city is fortunate to be home to a veritable transportation hub: Schiphol International Airport. Ranked 14th worldwide and 5th in Europe after London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Istanbul, it handled 54.9 million passengers last year, or 4.6% more than the previous year. The infrastructure is also 5th worldwide and 2nd in Europe as far as concerns international tourists travelers. The airport zone will soon be bolstered by the opening of a 314-room Novotel and a 443-room upscale property under the Hilton brand.

New concepts and new brands rub shoulders in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a well-developed hotel supply, with 421 properties operating in 2014 according to the city's National Statistical Office. On the whole, 122 hotels belong to corporate-operated chains, or 36% of the total supply with 22,337 rooms (figures courtesy of MKG Hospitality).

In addition to its airport, Amsterdam is a city where hoteliers like to open properties to develop new brands and innovative new concepts. For example, the German group Steigenberger will launch its new brand Jaz in The City there next November. The property is currently under construction near the Arena, the stadium of the iconic Ajax soccer club. It will have 247 rooms and eleven suites and the environment will be directly inspired by the music world. In addition, the young, design-focussed British brand Hoxton Hotels just opened its first hotel outside London there. Generator, and its new generation youth hostels, has also taken note of the city for its growth. The chain plans to renovate a former university building to open at the end of this year. Finally, Element, Starwood Hotels & Resorts' environmentally responsible brand, will open a property in Amsterdam next year, its second on the Old Continent, while the W Amsterdam (228 rooms and 28 suites) is planned to open in 2016. These new properties should set Amsterdam's hotelscape into motion.

While it is open to new types of accommodations, Holland’s capital also enforces regulation, particularly as far as concerns the sharing economy. Regarding AirBnB, the Tourist Office already announced an agreement last December. Since February, AirBnB has had to collect a tourist tax from hosts that it pays to the city.

When hotels and architecture go well together

Amsterdam has not finished growing in terms of infrastructures. Real estate promoters are trying to bolster the north shore of the river IJ, a former industrial area that aims to become one of the trendiest parts of town in a few years' time. Near the museum of the EYE Film Institute with its very original architecture (in the form of a ship), the 22-floor A'Dam tower should open its doors in spring 2016. It will have offices, restaurants, bars and a hotel positioned on the boutique segment. Sir Hotels, a hotel brand founded in 2011, will manage the 110-room property called Sir Adam. The group opened the Sir Albert in Amsterdam (member of the Design Hotels collection), the Sir F.K Savigny in Berlin and soon plans to inaugurate the Sir Nikolai in Hamburg.

Another major project is the opening in 2018 of Nhow Amsterdam RAI, managed by NH Hotel Group. Inspired by the Rubik's Cube the tower was designed by the architecture agency OMA architects (which is known for its "Tetris" tower in Rotterdam). The hotel will have 650 rooms, making it the biggest hotel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and even the Benelux. Finally, the former Courthouse is also undergoing a transformation to become a multi-use real estate complex that will include a luxury hotel.

A promising events offer for tourism

In 2015, the city commemorates125 years since the death of Van Gogh, one of the most famous Dutch painters alongside Rembrandt. Exhibitions dedicated to his work have been organized in the museum throughout the year. Another temporary event that should benefit the tourism industry, but that only takes place once every five years, the ninth edition of Sail Amsterdam will be organized from August 19 to 22. It should draw some two million visitors who will come to admire historic sailing ships that will drop anchor in the port. Finally, with the Tour de France starting from Utrecht, south of Amsterdam, the year 2015 also looks like an athletic one for the capital. Dates to remember: Amsterdam’s Olympic stadium will host the European Athletics Championships from July 6 to 10, 2016, and the city will host early stages of the Europe Football Championship in 2020. The Arena will host three round robin games and a 16th round in the finals. Tourists will for sure flow to the canals !

Also read:

  • Tourism growth in Amsterdam through various means
  • Amsterdam regulates short term private rentals
  • Amsterdam's Hotel Pulitzer, from The Luxury Collection to Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Generator to enter Amsterdam

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