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Düsseldorf, a fashionable city for hotel groups

In the dense Land of North Rhine Westphalia, Düsseldorf is a city in and of its own, recognized for its lifestyle quality, its status as the German capital of fashion, and business events that attract many visitors. Hotel chains have a strong presence, and the trend confirms this city's popularity among hotel groups.

It is not so easy for a city to establish its position as a destination when it is caught between the cultural and architectural heritage of Cologne and the refreshing dynamism of athletic Dortmund. And yet, what Düsseldorf, the capital of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, has succeeded in doing. A destination for business and MICE events, Düsseldorf enjoys a better economic situation than many of its neighbors in the Ruhr region, and succeeded in attracting world class companies from several fields, particularly in telecommunications (D2, Vodafone, E-Plus, Ericsson, Nokia), advertising (Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis) and fashion (Esprit, L’Oréal). At the heart of the most dynamic region in Europe near the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands, the city has benefited from these assets to become a leading business destination. A pioneer on the electronic and experimental music scene, the city is also a leading German destination for fashion. This status is on the rise as haute couture boutiques take up their positions on the very chic Königsallee. 

Düsseldorf's hotel supply now includes 82 chain hotels, most of which are positioned on the midscale (40 properties) and upscale (27 hotels) segments. These two categories naturally concentrate most of the hotel supply in the agglomeration, which consists of a total of 12,722 rooms. With 5,395 rooms in upscale hotels alone, the upscale segment segment has around 42% of the chain hotel supply – this proportion is 44% as far as concerns midscale properties, which generally have smaller capacities. With 14% of Düsseldorf's hotel capacity, economy hotels are in the minority at this destination.

Thus, as the city was behind with respect to the others, it is logical that most of the innovations that came and upset the market focused on this particular segment. With the opening of the B&B Düsseldorf City in October 2015, the brand now has a third address at the destination. This 99-room address is located near the S-Bahn Düsseldorf Wehrhahn station, not far from the city center. Two stations further north (S-Bahnhof Düsseldorf-Derendorf), the Holiday Inn Express Düsseldorf City – North (164 rooms) welcomed its first guests in August 2015.

Following their takeover by Louvre Hotels within a portfolio of nine properties, two Motel One hotels in the agglomeration were re-branded as Première Classe (Louvre Hotels Group). These became the Première Classe Düsseldorf–City hotel, not far from Südpark and the central station, and Première Classe Düsseldorf–Ratingen, just north of the capital of the Land of North Rhine Westphalia.

Three new openings will liven up the competition in the midscale hotel range. With the franchisee LFPI Hotels Management, AccorHotels opened its eighth address in the agglomeration: the Mercure Hotel Düsseldorf Zentrum (68 rooms), ideally located between Königsallee and the main train station. Similar capacity at the Best Western Hotel Breitbach, located in Ratingen and that joined the brand at the end of 2015 after two years of renovations. Also in Ratingen, this time closer to the airport, the brand Tryp by Wyndham opened a new 137-room address. Finally, the group Novum Hotels increased its capacity by 40 rooms on the agglomeration thanks to a new opening: the Novum Hotel Flora Apartments Düsseldorf.

This profusion of new addresses nonetheless probably contributed to difficult year Düsseldorf's hoteliers had in 2015. Occupancy stagnated (-0.3 points occupancy rate), while average daily rates fell by 3.2% contrary to the trend observed elsewhere in the Federal Republic. Throughout the year, the Revenue per available room (RevPAR) at hotels in Düsseldorf dropped by 3.6%, while its value remained higher than the national average. The average price of a room there is the second highest among important German cities, just after Munich.

The city should have what it takes to motivate new hotel chains, since the events calender will be more dynamic in 2016 (Aluminum 2016, Beauty Düsseldorf, Caravan Salon Düsseldorf, Interbride, Medica 2016, PSI Messe, ProWein, etc.). Two of the most important global events in their respective industries are organized in the city, and should fill hotels once again this year: Drupa, international fair held every four years  (31 May to June 10, graphic industries) and the triennial salon K Düsseldorf (October 19 - 26, plastic and rubber materials). It is hardly a surprise for an exhibition city located at the crossroads Europe, to have been able to compete so effectively with its neighbors Bonn and Cologne to attract MICE events organizers.

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