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Cardiff, a hotel supply under transformation

While the Welsh capital posted excellent performances with the organization of the Rugby World Cup, several transformations stirred up Cardiff's hotel industry -particularly the brand change observed at several properties.

After its population diminished in the 1980s following the deindustrialization crisis, Cardiff is currently experiencing a demographic boom: the number of inhabitants in the city thus increased by 18% between 2001 and 2011. Its city center now has one million inhabitants, or one third of the population of Wales. The capital of the Celtic nation, Cardiff is the economic motor of the region, regrouping most of Wales's primary political administrations and institutions, as well as many services that are centralized in the education and health sectors. In order to manage the slump in port activities and slowed industrial activities, the city has nonetheless succeeded in reconverting its economy in the fields of energy, communications and finance. Offices of Centrica, HBOS, ING Direct, Swalec, and also the Zurich Insurance Group may all be found in Cardiff. From a tourism vantage point, the destination presents the advantage of being one of the country's key destinations, as it enjoys strong cultural and artistic dynamism and a busy events calendar. And it is not the millions of spectators who had the chance to attend a rugby match or a concert at the Millennium Stadium who will say anything to the contrary. A veritable jewel for the city and stronghold for Welsh rugby, the 74,500 seat stadium will also host the finals of the UEFA Champions League  2016-2017. If we add the growing success of British tourism, hoteliers would be mistaken to not pay closer attention to this surprising destination.

With 4,487 rooms, Cardiff's hotel supply has a pyramid structure: economy properties constitute 43.8% of the supply, with no fewer than 27 hotels totaling 1,964 rooms. Midscale hotels represent just over one third fo the capacity of the city's hotel supply with 1,548 rooms. Finally, the seven upscale chain hotels present in Cardiff account for 975 rooms (21.7% of the supply).

The mid and upscale markets underwent some renovations last year. Located in the city center where it is one of the oldest hotels, the prestigious Parc Hotel joined the Jurys Inn chain last November; previously it was operated as a unit of the chain Thistle Hotels. With 140 rooms, the hotel Jurys Inn Cardiff City Centre is located near key attractions such as the Capitol Shopping Centre, the University and Cardiff Castle. The nearby Maldron Hotel Cardiff with 216 rooms, also changed its name to the Clayton Hotel Cardiff, an upscale brand with thirteen properties in Ireland and the United Kingdom (also operated by the Irish Dalata Hotels Group).

Hotel investors have good reasons for being interested in the Welsh destination: last year, Cardiff was one of the European cities with the highest occupancy. With an occupancy rate of 78.1% across the year 2015, the properties are ahead of properties at tourist destinations that are in the forefront such as Berlin, Barcelona, and Florence. In the city of the Red Dragons, rates have soared, with an increase in average daily rates by 14%, particularly due to the organization of the Rugby World Cup. The capital of Wales thus holds the record for growth in British cities in 2015: the RevPAR progressed by 14.4% from January to December. This argument ought to be  enough to convince new hotel brands to lay down their cornerstones in the years to come.

Also read:

  • The United Kingdom remains among Europe's tourism leaders in 2015
  • United Kingdom : The hotel industry converts the try in Rugby World Cup
  • British tourism breaks new records
  • Hampton by Hilton develops its first modular hotel

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