Decline, stagnation for some or solid RevPAR gains for others, what are the outlook for activity in 2019-2020 for Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom? Economic situation,hotel development or other cyclical factors combine to shape contrasting businesstrends depending on the markets. Overview of business forecasts developed by our partner MKG Consulting. Part Two: Belgium.
Belgium, European Hotel Champion In 2019-2020
A destination for business tourism and urban leisure, Belgium is at the heart of Europe geographically but also geopolitically through the main European institutions, NATO and hundreds of headquarters of multinationals and international associations. In 2017, the country welcomed 8.7 million international arrivals, mainly intra-European travellers.
The branded supply in Belgium totalled 28,370 rooms on 1 January 2019, a 5.5% increase compared to 2018 (source: European Hospitality Report, MKG Consulting). The total supply includes 517 Hotels representing 58,868 rooms.
For branded hotels, it is the budget and economy segment that drives the growth of the customer base, while the upscale segment remained stable in 2018 after a loss of rooms in 2017. In this context, existing properties in this segment took full advantage of the rebound in demand, which had been strongly affected by safety issues in 2015-2016. This dynamic has continued.
2019 was nevertheless a year of European elections, usually harmful to Belgian hotel activity and in particular to Brussels; but nothing of the kind was observed in the first half of the year. The extended negotiations, whether on Brexit or on key positions within the European institutions, have supported the dynamism of the destination, which should sign a very good year 2019.
In 2020, growth is expected to be less sustained, as European macroeconomic indicators are less in the green than before. But the rebound in the occupancy rate until 2019 will allow Belgian hotel operators to benefit from better pricing margins than most other European countries, even if Belgium will not escape the pan-European deceleration dynamic.
As of January 1st, 2019, the Brussels hotel market had just over 15,500 rooms. On the demand side, a strong increase in RevPAR is expected in Brussels in 2019 with a slight slowdown in this growth in 2020 due to an expected stabilization of the TO while prices are expected to continue their momentum. See full analysis of the destination Brussels here.
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