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January 2019: a cloud on the horizon for European hoteliers

The year is off to a slow start for European hoteliers who post less encouraging results than at the beginning of 2018.

Compared to January 2018, the destination recorded a positive performance with an overall increase in RevPAR by +3.2%, but this trend is due solely to the continuing +2.7% increase in prices compared to January 2018 and not to the number of customers, which has stagnated at +0.3 point as compared to +1.5 point in early 2018. In keeping with the end of 2018, the economy segment posted the best health with RevPAR up 4.8%, driven by an occupancy rate up 1.0 points and average daily rates up 3.0%.

Occupancy rates in the budget and mid-range segments stagnated at +0.1 point, with average daily rates rising by +4.2% and +3.3% respectively, making it difficult to maintain a +4.3% increase in RevPAR on the budget segment and +3.4% on the midscale segment. The high-end segment lagged behind with a +2.1% increase in RevPAR driven by average daily rates up +2.2%. Once again, the occupancy rate stagnated at -0.1 point.

6 destinations out of the 15 in the panel have occupancy rates that are on a downward trend and 5 of them do not reach 1 point of growth.

Aside from the leader, the leading trio is in poor shape:

Austria is the big winner among the European countries in the panel. It is the only destination to post double-digit growth in RevPAR by +14.2% or €51.20 excluding VAT. It is the destination that performs best in terms of occupancy rates with an increase of +6.2 points, while hoteliers have increased their prices moderately. The Austrian capital posted +20.2% growth in RevPAR thanks to a +7.7 points increase in OR and average daily rates up +4.3%.

Viennes

Portugal follows with a RevPAR of +6.7%, driven by an increase in average daily rates by +4.7% and a slight increase by +1.0 percentage point in occupancy. Lisbon maintained a +5.2% increase in RevPAR due to an 8.9% increase in ADR, with occupancy down slightly by -2.0 points. It is the Algarve region that drives performance upwards with occupancy rates up +7.6%, which hoteliers took advantage of to increase prices by +16.9%.

Hungary closed the podium with a +6.1% increase in RevPAR, driven solely by the increase in prices by +5.9% while the occupancy rate stagnated with progress by just +0.1 point. Budapest lost -0.5 points to the occupancy rate and maintained +5.9% growth in its RevPAR through an increase in ADR by +7.0%.

Challengers inflate prices to maintain growth:

Like its European neighbours, Germany maintained its RevPAR growth at +5.9% with an average price increase of +4.3%, while OR barely increased by +0.9 points. Munich (+29.1%), Berlin (+14.1%) and Nuremberg (+11.6%) posted the best increases. This is mainly due to occupancy rate for Berlin (+5.9 points) and Munich (+5.0 points). Cologne and Dusseldorf posted a timid start to the year but maintained a positive change, while all other German conurbations posted negative performances.

In Belgium, only Brussels is doing well and is allowing the destination to maintain its RevPAR on a +4.6% growth trend by increasing average daily rates by +3.2% while occupancy is stable at +0.8 points growth. The capital of The Netherlands saw its RevPAR increase by +7.4%, driven by an occupancy rate up +2.1 points and prices up by +3.8%.

Bruxelles

With a 4.5% increase in RevPAR, Poland is one of the few countries to be able to count on a significant increase in occupancy rates by +1.6 points accompanied by a moderate increase in average daily rates by +1.5%. Wroclaw posted an insolent 20% increase in RevPAR supported by a 7.1 percentage point increase in OR, which allowed prices to rise by +5.0%. The capital Warsaw loses -0.3% of RevPAR due to a -0.7 point drop in occupancy and prices stagnating with +0.8% growth.

France ranks 7th in terms of RevPAR performance with modest +3.2% change driven solely by the increase in average daily rates which are up +3.3%, and occupancy rate stagnating perfectly. Despite fashion week, hoteliers are suffering from a brand image that is beginning to deteriorate. More details in the analysis dedicated specifically to the French market.

The last ones struggle to maintain positive change:

At the bottom of the pack, the Czech Republic posted a modest +2.3% increase in RevPAR, impacted by a -1.2 point drop in OR. Nevertheless, hoteliers increased their prices by +4.7%.

The United Kingdom made very modest progress on RevPAR by +0.2 point and maintained its RevPAR in the green at +2.2% through a +1.8% increase in average daily rate. Overall, it is the economy segment that improved its occupancy rates by +1.3 points, while the other segments stagnated at change by -0.1 point for the midscale segment and -0.2 point for the upscale segment. On an urban level, only London, Birmingham and Manchester are in the green.

Luxembourg follows with a +1.6% increase in RevPAR supported by a +5.2% increase in average daily rates, with occupancy rates falling by -2.3 points.

Spain remains in the black with a RevPAR of +1.2% driven by prices up +1.1% with occupancy of properties stable at +0.1 point change. Despite a 14.3% increase in RevPAR in the Economy segment (+4.9 occupancy points and +4.7% for average daily rates), the RevPAR performance in the Midscale (+1.2%) and Upscale (-0.4%) segments affected the overall growth of the destination.

Four European destinations in the red compared to January 2018: 

The Netherlands is leading the way for destinations whose RevPAR is down with a slight decline to -0.2% due to a TO of -0.2 points and price stagnation at +0.1%. The economy (-3.0%) and mid-range (-1.5%) drove performance down despite the fact that the top-of-the-range remained at +2.9%. Amsterdam (-2.4%) and Eindhoven (-7.7%) dropped out of RevPAR while Rotterdam (+7.8%), Utrecht (+2.6%) and The Hague (+1.5%) remained in the positive.

Amsterdam

Italy lost -2.5% on RevPAR despite a price drop of -0.6%, while TO lost -1.1 point. Despite a continuation of RevPAR for the Economy segment +10.5% driven by an average price increase of +7.5% and a slight increase in patronage of +1.7 points, national performances fell, driven down by the mid- and upscale segments, each losing -1.9 point and -1.1 point in occupancy rate respectively. Only Turin manages to maintain its RevPAR at +0.6%, while the other conurbations are in decline with as much as -22.1% in RevPAR for Naples.

Greece, second last in the panel, starts the year with a -4.6% decline in RevPAR. Despite a price drop of -0.3%, occupancy rate fell by -2.1 points. Athens lost -8.7% to RevPAR due to a -5.2 percentage points drop in the occupancy rate, with prices maintained at +2.6%.

Last but not least, Latvia, which has so far performed well, lost -10.8% on RevPAR with a -4.5 points drop in OR (the biggest in the panel) and a -2.4% drop in prices (also the biggest in the panel).

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