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Global hotel pulse: Europe news

Profile Photo By: H L
April 10, 2013

Global hotel pulse: Europe news

Europe hoteliers report mixed results
The European hotel industry posted mixed results in year-over-year metrics when reported in U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds for February 2013, according to data compiled by STR Global, sister company of HotelNewsNow.com.

?The winter weather in Europe hindered performance across the region,? said Elizabeth Winkle, managing director of STR Global. ?Major airports saw delays and closures due to the winter storm earlier in the month, which affected hotel performance across the region. Hotels surrounding Heathrow, Gatwick and Amsterdam airports especially saw both ADR and RevPAR decreases for the month when measured in respective local currency.?

Spanish hoteliers set for gloomy spring
Spanish hoteliers were?gloomy over prospects for spring?with predictions of a drop in occupancy and fears that the ailing domestic economy does not auger well for a turnaround any time soon, according to the Confederation of Spanish Hotels and Tourist Accommodations, commonly known as CEHAT.

Results of a survey carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers of the confederation?s 64 hotel association members showed hoteliers? expectations are down regarding average room rates, the number and length of overnight stays, profitability and controlling costs, with those surveyed saying they were concerned about the increased expense of energy and staffing.

?Overall, these are the most negative opinions we?ve seen in this annual survey in the past four years,? CEHAT Secretary General Ram?n Estalella said.

STR Global reports Europe pipeline
The Europe hotel development pipeline comprised 850 hotels totaling 140,459 rooms,?according to the February 2013 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report. The total active pipeline data includes projects in the in construction, final planning and planning stages but does not include projects in the pre-planning stage.

Among the countries in the region, Kazakhstan reported the largest expected supply growth (+38.2%) if all 2,072 rooms in its total active pipeline open. Six other countries expected room growth of more than 5%: Russia (+24.7% with 20,866 rooms in the total active pipeline); Azerbaijan (+24.1% with 912 rooms); the United Kingdom (+8.2% with 42,077 rooms); Poland (+8.1% with 4,255 rooms); Romania (+6.8% with 1,850 rooms); and the Netherlands (+5.2% with 5,283 rooms).

Luxury segment heads up Vienna?s hotel boom
After years of inactivity,?Vienna?s sparse global branded 5-star footprint is expanding?and will continue to do so throughout 2013 and early 2014. A host of recent and pending newcomers include the 202-room Ritz-Carlton, Vienna (August 2012), the 304-room Kempinski in the Palais Hansen building (March 2013), Sol Melia?s 255-room ME Vienna (fall 2013) and a 143-room Park Hyatt (early 2014).

?Among the projects slated to open a little further down the line in 2015 are a 320-bed Four Seasons hotel in the city center (first district), and a 128-room Hotel im Palais Schwarzenberg in the third district,? said Astrid Pockfuss, media manager for the Vienna Tourist Board.

?Vienna?s hotel industry is booming at the moment, particularly the premium segment with a constant flow of new rooms coming onto the market,? she said. ?The bed count of 58,100 end of December (2012) is set to rise to 62,300 by the end of 2013, and 63,500 by the end of 2014,? she said.

UK hotel budget sector strengthens share
The United Kingdom?s budget sector continues to outperform, with forecasts by Deloitte anticipating major expansion to commandeer an even greater share of the market. Robin Rossmann, director of travel, hospitality and leisure of the global consultancy and advisory firm, said the budget segment has seen an unrivalled rise in the region since the turn of the century.

?In 2000, the branded budget sector was around 3% of total hotel supply in the U.K.,? he said. ?By 2010, this was around 18%, and by 2016, we estimate it could, optimistically, be as much as 25%.?

KSL Capital buys Malmaison and Hotel du Vin
An affiliate of KSL Capital, a U.S. private equity firm based in Denver, has acquired Malmaison Group, the owner of leading U.K. boutique hotel brands Malmaison and Hotel du Vin.

KSL plans to invest significantly in the existing 27-hotel portfolio and in the growth of both hotel brands. The investment will support the current development strategy initiated by CEO Gary Davis. Under the leadership of Davis and KSL, Malmaison will continue its brand development plans including an extensive renovation program and expansion within the U.K., European and global markets. Davis, who previously led the expansion of the De Vere Group?s Village Hotel portfolio and the global expansion programs at Hard Rock Caf? and Planet Hollywood, was appointed CEO of Malmaison in January 2012.

Hilton speeds up development in the EMEA
The global hotel chain has notched?significant gains during the past few years, according to Simon Vincent, president of the region. During January 2010, Europe accounted for only 6.9% of Hilton Worldwide?s total pipeline. Two years later, it accounted for 15.7%.

?We are growing significantly,? he said during a break at the International Hotel Investment Forum in March. ?We?ve got 190 hotels (and more than 43,000 rooms) in our pipeline. That?s indicative of a pretty healthy environment and appetite that is out there right now. We are seeing banks starting to lend again. We are seeing investor appetite increasing.?

Choice eyes expansion in Europe
With an eye cast on expanding its presence across the continent,?Choice Hotels Europe is focusing its early attention on adding to its portfolio in the U.K.?Steve Joyce, president and CEO for Choice Hotels International, had made it clear in recent statements that expansion in Europe is a must for the Maryland-based franchising giant with more than 6,200 hotels comprising nearly a half-million rooms around the world. Duncan Berry, chief executive for Choice Hotels Europe, has helped set the stage for that growth since joining the company as COO in 2008.

Beginning in 2010, Choice has been upgrading its portfolio by terminating the contracts of sub-par properties, Berry said. ?If we hadn?t done that, we wouldn?t have been able to sit around the table with (companies such as) Akkeron (Hotels Group),? he said during an interview at the company?s Saffron Hill offices. ?There was that need to take a couple of steps back to bring the overall caliber of the hotels up. We were keen from a brand standards point of view that they were being maintained.

Invesco closed second European hotel fund
US-based investment manager Invesco has held a final close of its second European hotel fund with ?200 million ($260 million) in equity, saying it will have firepower for up to ?400 million ($520 million) in assets and is seeded already with some pan-European hotels. Invesco plans to boost investments in the sector.

Starwood Hotels appoints new EMEA leader
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced that Roeland Vos, long-time president of Starwood’s Europe, Africa and Middle East region, will step down and be succeeded by Michael Wale, a 35-year Starwood veteran who most recently served as senior VP and director of operations for Western Europe. Vos will transition into a consulting role with the company, effective 1 June 2013.

[box type=”tick”]Deals and developments ?

  • InterContinental Hotels Group has agreed to sell InterContinental London Park Lane to Constellation Hotel (Opco) UK S.A., which is an affiliate of Constellation Hotels Holding Limited, a Middle Eastern private investment group. IHG?s leasehold interest in the hotel was sold for gross cash proceeds of ?301.5 million ($457 million), 62% above 31 December 2012 net book value.
  • IHG signed of the Holiday Inn Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, one of the first Holiday Inns in Germany to feature the brand?s new ?Open Lobby? concept. The 249-room property is due to open in early 2015 and will operate under a managed contract in partnership with UBM.
  • Hilton Worldwide announced the re-opening of Hilton Garden Inn Milan Malpensa, close to Milano Malpensa Airport in Italy. Having operated under the Hilton Garden Inn brand between 2008 and 2011, the franchise agreement has since been re-established with the property’s new owners, Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing, and is being managed by Bierwith & Kluth Hotel Management GmbH.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton announced the opening DoubleTree by Hilton Kusadasi in Turkey, which is next to the resort?s marina, overlooking Kusadasi Bay and the Aegean Sea. The newly built 87-room hotel features a selection of four restored stone cottages set within the grounds of the hotel.
  • Marriott International?s The Autograph Collection continues to grow in Europe with the introduction of The Autograph Collection?s first hotels in the U.K. this spring: Threadneedles, in London?s financial district, and The Glasshouse in central Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Marriott International will open a luxury resort on the private island of Sacca Sessola, located in the Venetian lagoon. The 266-room JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa will operate under a management agreement with an affiliate of Aareal Bank AG and is expected to open in 2014.? The resort will be the JW Marriott brand?s first hotel in Italy.
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced a new development in Istanbul, Turkey, scheduled to open in 2016. The 210-room hotel will be joined by branded residences and is part of the Quasar Istanbul complex, a new mixed-use development in the Sisli district.
  • Kempinski Hotels opened the 152-room Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna. Designed as a hotel for the 1873 World Exhibition by Theophil Edvard von Hansen and Heinrich F?rster, the building never opened its doors to guests, and it has taken more than 140 years for the building to be put to its original use.
  • HVS Hodges Ward Elliott, acting on behalf of BRE Europe Hotel Holding and Alliance H?tellerie, arranged the sale of shares in the owning companies of five Belgian hotels to CTF Development. The properties are the 201-room Mercure Brussels Center Louise, 105-room Mercure Li?ge Centre, 101-room Mercure Leuven Center, 87-room Alliance Hotel Brussels Airport and 79-room Alliance Hotel Brussels Expo. All five hotels will be fully renovated and rebranded under the Pentahotels brand, taking the total number of Pentahotels in Europe to 24. Frankfurt-based CTF Development is owned by the Cheng family in Hong Kong.[/box]

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