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November: skies clearing at the end of the year

With the RevPAR down by - 9.3%, the month of November is one of the least disappointing in a very difficult year for Europe's hotel industry. The decline in business seems under control and certain key markets such as the trio United Kingdom - France - Germany are showing signs of improvement.

Upon reading November's results, it is almost time to draw up the year-end results for 2009, which was one of the most difficult in hoteliers' memory. From November 2008 until the end of November 2009, the revenue per available room underwent a drop by -15.6%. Business continued to decline throughout the year - the OR dropped by -5.4 points - forcing hoteliers to make concessions concerning rates with respect to the Business segment and to multiply promotions to stimulate Leisure clientele. The average daily rate was thus down by -8.1% across twelve sliding months. And yet, even if the comparison with November 2008, a month that had marked the onset of a long litany of record drops, attenuates this observation, a slight improvement on certain markets may be observed in this eleventh month of the year. The drop in the RevPAR went back beneath the 10% mark to -9.3%. In light of fluctuating, but improving, activity, the pressure on the average daily rate is less important, particularly in countries where the overall results are pulled down by their offers such as France, the United Kingdom and Germany. Let us hope that these patches of clear skies are a precursor to a real recovery of business for the year 2010. Without being flamboyant, the month of November is marked by renewed business activity for Europe's hotel leaders. Its powerhouse for a long time, the United Kingdom rapidly plunged into the crisis. Today, this country appears to be improving, particularly on the upscale segment, and the drop in its RevPAR is limited to -3.1%. Other countries where the chain hotel supply is highly developed are France and Germany, have limited the damage resulting in drops by close to 6.5%, the Hexagon distinguishes itself with growth in its global average daily rate. These three countries are outstripped by Portugal and Sweden, which show drops by less than 3%. The European leader, however, experienced drops by between 10% and 15%. The Netherlands, Spain and Italy experienced continued high pressure on their rate strategy. Among the “good” news for November, the Czech Republic posted growth - small as it may be - in occupancy for the first time in over two years (+0.2 pt).

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