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April 2016: Europe's hotel industry improves overall, despite a deepening gap

Across the continent, the month of April allowed European hoteliers to post the best results since the beginning of the year. However, this glimmer of hope should not overshadow the significant gap between markets experiencing full growth such as Germany and Central Europe and destinations that are suffering from worsened security conditions, with Belgium and France in the lead.

In pursuit of the positive results produced in recent months and driven by the renewed dynamism of several major markets, Europe's hotel activity continued its climb last month, producing a Revenue per available room (RevPAR) up by 5.3% in April 2016 compared to the previous year. While renewed arrivals have been satisfactory on a continental scale, with growth by 1.1 points in occupancy rate, it is above all average daily rates that allowed European hoteliers to benefit from this Spring renewal. Up significantly across all categories, rates have progressed by 3.6% over April 2015. The midscale segment benefited the most from this uptrend (average daily rates +4.7%), also enabling the category's properties to report the strongest growth in results (RevPAR +6.6%) last month.



April 2016: Monthly results of hotel chains by category



April stands out for the powerful contrasts between the different European markets. The major Central European markets drove business last month: Germany produced its traditional biannual improvement (which will be made up for by a drop next month), with a RevPAR up significantly (+27.5%) driven at once by an increase in daily rates and a much higher occupancy rate than 2015. Neighboring Poland also ranks among the leaders on Europe's markets, with growth in its properties' RevPARs by 23.2%. In keeping with good results produced since the beginning of the year, the country has confirmed its ability to drive European hotel results up. In other contexts, Spain (+11.7% RevPAR), Hungary (+11.9%) and Luxembourg (+13.4%) all continue to be sure values in terms of hotel performances.

Not very surprisingly, French, and above all Belgian, markets have not benefited from the overall improvement of hotel results in Europe, a drop that is explained by the terrorist attacks that hit the two countries in recent months. With a RevPAR down by 9.4% compared with the month of April 2015, French hotels recorded their worst results since the tragic events of last November. Also shaken by attacks that caused 32 deaths and nearly 350 wounded in Brussels last March 22, Belgium's hotels sadly experienced their share of the human shock experienced in the Netherlands. The RevPAR at Belgian properties is down 16% with respect to April 2015, despite a slight increase in average daily rates that could not offset the disinterest of clientele, which brought a 14.5 point drop in occupancy rate with respect to last year.



April 2016: Monthly results of hotel chains by country



Since the beginning of the year, Belgian and French hoteliers are unsurprisingly the only ones to produce durably negative results. In Belgium, the RevPAR for hotels is down by 7.5% between January and April 2016, in France it was -4%. These results make a clean break with those obtained elsewhere on the continent, particularly in Central Europe. As far as concerns the gains in terms of RevPAR, the Visegrad Group, including Poland (+10.8% since the beginning of the year), the Czech Republic (+12.5%) and Hungary (+10%), continue excellent growth begun in 2015 - these levels nonetheless remain lower at properties in Western Europe in terms of absolute value. Spanish and Dutch hotels also do well, with particularly positive growth in their RevPAR since the beginning of the year 2016, with a 16% increase in Spain and 11.6% growth in the Netherlands in the first four months of the year.

Throughout Europe's entire hotel industry, the overall RevPAR increased by 2.9% from January to April 2016. This positive trend is driven by a slight rebound in occupancy (+0.7 point occupancy rate), accompanied by an increase in average daily rates by 1.7% since the beginning of the year. Despite significant difficulties encountered by several major European markets, which significantly slow this progress, the overall image is thus generally positive for Europe's hotel industry in 2016.

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  • 2015 in Europe: hotel KPIs continue to grow, driven by southern countries and CEECs
  • March 2016: sun showers cloud Europe’s brightening skies

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