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Analysis

Liege: lodging is clogged

Liege, with 200 000 inhabitants in its central city and 700 000 taking into account its agglomeration, is the first hotel market in the Walloon region. Historically industrial, the city directs its activity towards business tourism but still has a varied cultural offer.

The city also aims to be dynamic in terms of events with the organization of some festivals with different arts for theme: music (jazz and rock in particular), dance, theatre or circus and photography. The major event of the city being its Christmas market with a stable annual attendance of 1 700 000 visitors.

Wallonia centres its economy on business clusters and brain emulsions, with the public authorities periodically launching calls for projects at research and development centres. Nevertheless, Wallonia remains the most economically backward region in the country, with an unemployment rate that reaches 14% in 2017, well above the national average (6.4%).

The religious cultural heritage of the city is its main source of tourist affluence, Liege having been from the 7th to the 11th century the seat of the bishopric of Maastricht, giving rise to numerous religious buildings: 1 cathedral, 1 basilica as well as 53 churches, which attract each year very many amateurs of ecclesiastical architecture.

The hotel sector is not very developed in Liege, and is mainly made up of small and independent establishments. On 1 January 2018, Liège's chain supply lost 124 rooms compared with the previous year, representing a contraction of 11% of its customer base.

Liège, which had been less impacted by the exceptional events of 2016, partly due to the withdrawal of its portfolio (closure of a 219-rooms Alliance property), again posted an increase in performance: +1.4 points for its TO, an increase of 3.6% for its PM and +5.5% for its RevPAR in 2017, which stabilised at 63.7€.

From 2019, the finish of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège cycling race will return to the Walloon capital, which it left in 1992. The influx of fans of this emblematic race should attract a return of the region's hotel performances.

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