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European Hotel Industry: Like last year, France is doing better than all its European neighbours in 2002

On the last 12 months, the global zone of the European Union posts a RevPAR down by 2,6% in spite of a slight increase of the…

On the last 12 months, the global zone of the European Union posts a RevPAR down by 2,6% in spite of a slight increase of the average daily rates (+0,5%). Occupancy rates are indeed down by 2,2 points, to 67%. In the end, France is the only country to record increasing revenues per available room on 12 sliding months. Italy and Portugal manage to limit the damage, even though the RevPAR is down in these two countries. All other countries post revenues per available room down by between 3% to more than 5%, Germany, Austria and Belgium recording the most important losses.



This study is based on a sample of 5,000 corporate operated chains in Europe, representing 500,000 rooms. The data, gathered monthly from each hotel, is redressed according to the segmentation of the corporate operated hotel chain supply, and by the weight of each country in the European Union. These results come from figures supplied by the hotel chains located in France and throughout Europe, of which MKG Consulting is the official statistical supplier. The complete dossier concerning the hotel activity in France and in Europe will be published in the February/March edition of HTR magazine. MKG Consulting has the largest hotel database in the world, outside the United States, with the best coverage of all the hotel segments, in particular the economy segments.



France is the only country to record a growth of the RevPAR on the last 12 months.


  • Southern Europe resists better than the rest of the continent.

  • The Netherlands and the United Kingdom lower their room rates in order to maintain high occupancy rates.

  • Economy segments in progress on the last 12 months.




Among the most significant facts from the last twelve months, the following merit particular attention:



The European Union is down on the last 12 months: -2,6%

On the last 12 months, the global zone of the European Union posts a RevPAR down by 2,6% in spite of a slight increase of the average daily rates (+0,5%). Occupancy rates are indeed down by 2,2 points, to 67%. In the end, France is the only country to record increasing revenues per available room on 12 sliding months. Italy and Portugal manage to limit the damage, even though the RevPAR is down in these two countries. All other countries post revenues per available room down by between 3% to more than 5%, Germany, Austria and Belgium recording the most important losses.



France is the only European country to record an increase of the RevPAR on 12 sliding months

The growth of the RevPAR by 0,6% in France on the last 12 months results from the increase of the average daily rate by 2,5%. This growth compensates for the drop of the occupancy rate by 1,3 points (to 68,9%). Only the revenue per available room of the upmarket segment still posts a decrease compared to the same period of last year. The economy and budget segments record increasing results on 12 months of activity: between +2,3% to +4,5% in terms of RevPAR.



Only the economy segments are in progress

On the last 12 months, only the economy segments record an increase of revenue per available room. Indeed, they post a growth of the average daily rate between 4% to 5,5% and thereby compensate the drop of occupancy rates concerning the 0* and 1* segments. Nevertheless, once again they maintain very high levels this year, between around 70% to 75% on the European zone. Hence, the economy segment is doing well and shows a remarkable resistance since the beginning of the economic slowdown that was observed during the first quarter 2001 and in particular since September 2001. The mid-market and up-market segments, however, post a RevPAR that is down (respectively -1,6% and -5,3%). This drop is due to the decrease of the occupancy rates, but also to a slight reduction of the average daily rate with regards to the up-market segment.



The United Kingdom and the Netherlands lower their room rates and maintain their occupancy rates

In 2002, hoteliers adopted price strategies according to the countries. In the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, they took the option of quite important drops (around 3% and more). These decreases permit those two countries to more or less maintain their occupancy rate at a constant level. Like last year, these countries continue to record the highest occupancy levels. In Germany, Belgium or Austria, however, the price drops were not sufficient to fight the decrease of the occupancy rate. Globally, Germany is the country posting the worst performances in 2002: the RevPAR is down by 5,2% (global of all segments) while the occupancy rate loses 3 points to 58,2%.



Uncertainty regarding the activity in 2003

As the activity of the hotel industry was limited in December, the latest figures of the year should confirm the annual tendency. On the European level, the European hotel industry stands idle in 2002. In spite of the efforts made by hoteliers in terms of promotion and commercialisation, in particular the European up-market segment could not gain over the consequences of the attacks occurred in the United States. The more important volumes of inter-European customers could not compensate the lack of American and Japanese customers. The attacks of September 2001 are still strongly present in the minds of the customers. This year, the European hotel industry has not recovered its activity level before the crisis.



Predictions regarding the hotel activity in 2003 are still marked with uncertainty: an intervention in Irak or new terrorist attacks could quite significantly penalise the hoteliers. This uncertainty does not favour investments of companies to start again and does not favour the international travelling of Leisure individuals. Hence, in 2003, hotel groups established in Europe will try to keep their customers by multiplying loyalty operations and reinforcing promotional actions.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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