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Christmas Markets: Christmas magic at work for the hotel sector

An old tradition in the Rhine basin, Christmas markets once again were met with great success among visitors from around the world this year. Alsace is the first region to benefit from the enthusiasm of national and international tourists for year-end festivities. The Tourist office of the Christmas Capital is pleased with December's results: "The season was good considering the difficult context, we had a good late season and Christmas was excellent. Year-end celebrations brought close to 2 million travelers to the city of Strasbourg and its region, 50% of which were French, a high volume of border area clientele (Swiss, German, English, Belgian...), as well as visitors from far away countries and emerging economies (Russian, Japanese, American...)", explains Patrice Gény, director of the Tourist Office in Strasbourg and its region. The strong presence of tourists, especially international, is reflected in the hotel activity of the agglomeration in December, with room revenue up by 6.4% during the period, resulting from 0.2 point growth in the occupancy of properties and 6.1% growth in average daily rates. Hoteliers in Colmar and Mulhouse also benefited from the success that year-end celebrations met from tourists, which showed an increase in their room revenues by 9% and 11% respectively for the month of December (figures for the entire agglomeration). In Colmar (outside the agglomeration), the increase reached 9.4% thanks to growth by 4.1 points in hotel occupancy and by 3.7% in average daily rates. "The season was quite adequate and blessed with favorable weather. Occupancy in the city over the holidays was good, with around 1.5 million tourists over a six-week period. While most are French-speaking, we nonetheless saw a strong presence of Asian clientele at the end of the year", explains the Tourist Office of Colmar. Belgian and German hotels also rejoice at this year-endOther Christmas markets in the Rhine Basin found their followers for the 2013 season, and filled area hotels. German towns known for continuing the tradition saw their properties' indexes take off, as could be seen in Nuremberg (+11.4% turnover per room), Dresden (+10.5%), and Stuttgart (+9.8%). While Munich's results were not as good as its neighbors', its indexes nonetheless remain high with occupancy at 68.5% and an average daily rate of 99.9 euros. Nuremberg also kept its occupancy rates high at 74%, or 3.6 points more than during the same period last year. The city was thus able to considerably increase the room revenues of its properties, up by 11.4% during the entire month of December. Another capital that is famous for its Christmas activity is Brussels, which saw its hotel business progress this year with a 5.9% increase in room revenue in the urban area, particularly due to the 3.3% increase in average daily rates. The increase is even more evident in the Belgian capital (not including the surrounding area), where the improvement in average daily rates reached 3.8% for 6.4% growth in room revenues.

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