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August 2019: mixed performance for European hoteliers

The second summer month reflects a less dynamic tourist season than in 2018. However, it should be noted that the summer of 2018 was a period of strong performance compared to 2017. So while the dynamic slows down, it nonetheless remains positive for 10 of the 15 countries monitored.

The overall RevPAR is up +1%, and this increase is mainly driven by the budget segment (+3.4%). While the economy grew +1.1% of RevPAR also thanks to the increase in OR (+0.3 percentage points), mid- and upscale properties experienced a decline in OR by -0.2 and -0.4 percentage points respectively, for an overall stagnation at +0.1 points.

Prices showed continued slight growth in all segments in European destinations: +1.4% for budget, +1.3% for upscale, +0.9% for midscale and +0.7% for economy. Year to date, RevPAR increased by +2.8%. European hoteliers increased their prices by +2.2% since the beginning of the year, while ORs increased by +0.4 points.

Only two destinations posted double-digit growth in RevPAR.

Austria saw its RevPAR take off by +14.9% (€86.8 excluding tax) thanks to OR up by 3.1 percentage points combined with a +10.7% increase in prices. Occupancy gained three percentage points in upscale hotels. Since November 2018, with the exception of June 2019, OR at Austria's hotels has been increasing.

The occupancy rate for the upscale Polish market outperformed in all major destinations in the country. OR up +3.4 points for average daily rates up +5.8% resulting in a +10.5% increase in RevPAR (€50.70 including tax).

Hungarian hoteliers were able to rely on the Sziget music festival, which welcomes nearly 500,000 festival goers to the capital early each August, to boost their prices by +14.2% (90€ excluding tax). Occupancy rates, on the other hand, are down -4.4 percentage points on average (2nd lowest performance on the panel). August ended with a RevPAR up +8.8% compared to August 2018 (€79.3 excluding tax).

Behind Austria and Poland, Spain (+2 points) then the Netherlands and Greece (+1.2 points) posted the strongest increases in OR.

In Spain, all segments are green, with the midscale segment showing the best growth (+2.8 points). It should be noted that Malaga, a seaside destination, loses visitors in the peak of the high season. How will the next Room Mate property owned by Covivio find its place in this seaside market? Seville and Bilbao also see occupancy rates down. However, Spanish hoteliers maintained their prices slightly up +0.5% to preserve a +3% increase in RevPAR (€95.1 excluding tax).

Dutch hoteliers cut their prices by -0.5% in August, maintaining a +1.2 point increase in OR. The upscale segment saw its occupancy erode by -0.5 points. It is the midscale segment that performs best in terms of occupancy with +2.1 points growth.

Greece took full advantage of the summer season with +5 percentage points for its OR in Athens. RevPAR increased by +6.8% to €154.30 excluding tax.

Belgian and French hoteliers also did well, with occupancy remaining steady at +0.4 percentage points in Belgium and stagnating at 0 in France. In Belgium, it is the economy segment that maintains a positive trend. Antwerp and Ghent increased their occupancy rates (+4.5 and +1.4 percentage points), while Brussels (-1.1 points), and especially Liège (-4.1 points), saw their number of customers erode.

Portugal, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg all maintain a positive RevPAR thanks to rising prices. It should be noted that the number of arrivals throughout Portugal is negative (-1.3 points). 

Italy, Latvia and Germany saw their occupancy rates and RevPAR drop. All segments in Germany were affected by this decline that includes average daily rates. Germany lost -6% of its RevPAR. In Italy, while the Economy segment pursued +3.2 percentage points growth in its OR, the Upscale segment lost -2.5 percentage points.

Renewed arrivals for MICE associated with the beginning and end of the summer season will convey the health of European hoteliers in September.

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