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ITB Berlin and IPK International Report

Hotel overnights in Europe set to increase

ITB Berlin and IPK International investigate Europeans’ preferred types of accommodation – Germans favour middle-class hotels, Russians and Britons the luxury segment – the percentage of hotel overnights is on the increase.
Travellers from Germany are more modest in their choice of hotel than holidaymakers from the UK or Russia and prefer middle-class accommodation. The proportion of Germans who stay in luxury hotels has even declined and currently stands at 13 per cent. These are the results of a special evaluation of the World Travel Monitor on the European travellers' preferred types of accommodation conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin*.

At 57 per cent, overnights represent Europeans' preferred type of accommodation. Around 234 out of 413 million trips abroad are spent staying at hotels, with currently more European travellers choosing a hotel bed than five years ago. In 2007 this type of accommodation accounted for 52 per cent. 58 per cent of German travellers currently favour hotels. The leaders are Britons (60 per cent) and Russians (66 per cent). Among Polish and Dutch travellers hotel overnights are less popular (44 and 45 per cent respectively).

Around Europe the choices of hotel category also vary. Among Europeans the proportion of overnights in standard accommodation (middle-class and budget hotels) has stagnated, whereas overnights in four and five-star hotels have risen by four and two per cent respectively. According to the survey by IPK International Russian holidaymakers in particular prefer luxury accommodation, with 26 per cent opting for the comforts of a five-star hotel whenever they travel abroad. 22 per cent of Britons choose five-star accommodation, which puts them alongside the main nations preferring luxury hotels. Over the last five years the percentage of Russians and Britons favouring luxury accommodation has risen by two and four per cent respectively, whereas the percentage of Germans preferring this segment stands at only 13 per cent.

Commenting on the reasons for growth in luxury hotel overnights, Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin, said: "At many destinations these categories have been offering more and more in recent years. Increasingly, rooms at four-star hotels can now be booked for the price of middle-class accommodation. Luxury hotel overnights are also being offered at reduced rates. Frequent use of online booking portals and the growth in direct marketing play an important role here. The effect of ever-present customer loyalty programs and tour operators who normally operate on the mass market advertising rooms in premium-class hotels should not be underestimated either. As a result bookings for four and five-star accommodation have increased and over the coming years will probably continue to do so".

Besides hotel overnights, rented or purchased holiday homes (20 per cent) and staying with friends and relatives (ten per cent) are among the most popular types of travel accommodation, whereas campsites (three per cent) hardly register in the statistics.

*These results are based on an evaluation of the "Europe data" from 33 countries in the World Travel Monitor by IPK International. The World Travel Monitor is the world's largest and only tourism survey on outbound travel volume and behavior (choice of destination, purpose of trip, holiday types and holiday activities / motives, type of business travel, travel duration, type of transport, accommodation, travel season, information and booking behavior, regional source markets, target group profiles, etc.) in 60 source countries in Europe, the Arab countries, the Americas and in Asia.
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