The Park Hyatt Vienna was the seventh Park Hyatt property in Europe 50 hotels under the St. Regis, W Hotels and Luxury Collection brands,”says Asad Ahmed, vice president of sales, EAME division for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Building on its mix of mid to upscale and luxury brands, Starwood opened The St. Regis Venice San Clemente Palace in June, the Element Frankfurt Airport in August, and the Aloft Liverpool in October. In December it will open the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, A Luxury Collection Hotel, in Milan and in 2015, the Aloft Stuttgart, Aloft Munich, and the W Amsterdam.
“After the economic slowdown we are optimistic about improving trends as occupancies continue to rise – reaching peak levels across Europe – which means rates should grow despite still-fragile European economies,”Ahmed adds. “RevPAR grew at 2 percent, with Italy, Spain and Greece as highlights.”
World hotelier ACCOR, specializing in budget and mid-to-upscale properties, is one of Europe’s largest operators with 2,600 hotels and 283,000 rooms. Accor reports that it has 120 hotels (17,700 rooms) in the pipeline. As of August 2013 it had opened 62 hotels for a total of 90 hotels that were planned for the full year.
The Grand Tours
Of course all this positive growth hinges on the projections that an improving economy will put more“heads in the beds”in these new properties. However, lots of those heads will be on the necks of tourists with cameras hanging round them. While a strong leisure travel market is good news for hoteliers, it can be bad news for highfrequency business travelers, especially in iconic cities like London, Paris and Rome. Depending on what time of the year and locale, the tourism segment drives demand and hence, rates.
And for right now, tourism growth in Europe is expected to continue its positive track. A recent study conducted by the European Travel Commission measured the market impact of foreign tourists in Europe from various European and non-European source markets. The study showed that international arrivals to Europe grew by 5.4 percent in 2013. This marks the fourth consecutive year of positive growth. Interestingly, nearly 50 percent of all international arrivals in Europe came from only eight countries, according to the ETC report – and the top six on the list were within the European community.
As in prior years, Germany was the largest source market, contributing to 14 percent of all international arrivals in Europe, putting it ahead of the UK at nine percent. With a market share of six percent, Russia is the third largest source of international arrivals. France holds fourth place, ahead of the Netherlands, and Italy in sixth place. The seventh position is held by the US, the first extra-European market, whose share of international arrivals grew significantly in 2013. China’s share of international arrivals in Europe was only 1.3 percent, but its market grew by an impressive 23 percent. In the medium and long term, China’s number of arrivals is expected to grow. As for the European outlook overall, the ETC study forecasts that for the period 2013 to 2016 international arrivals to Europe will grow by some 3.8 percent.
“Europe’s success as a travel destination is set to continue,”according to Dr. Martin Buck, director of Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin. “It is an attractive destination that fascinates Europeans and overseas visitors alike.” BT