In this roundup of news from Europe: AccorHotels, IHG and Whitbread announce Q3 numbers; TUI Blue expands across Europe; AccorHotels decides to abandon including independents on its brand.com platform; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. This week’s compilation covers Europe.
STR: Europe performance well above pre-recession levels
Despite a number of market challenges, Europe’s hotel industry posted an all-time high occupancy level between January and September, according to data from STR, the parent company of Hotel News Now. The continent’s September year-to-date absolute occupancy of 72.6% was 2.6% higher than the same months in 2016 and 9% higher than the same period in 2008.
In addition to faster recovery from terrorism, Europe’s hotel market has benefited from strong growth in tourism business across Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Iberian Peninsula. Several key markets recorded double-digit revenue-per-available-room increases, including Budapest (+18.4%), Warsaw (+11.3%), Kiev (+24.1%), Lisbon (+20%), Madrid (+19.1%) and Barcelona (+15.1%). Although Barcelona’s performance remained quite strong through the August terror attack and September protests, substantial drops were seen after the 1 October Catalan Independence Referendum.
Public European hotel companies report latest earnings
AccorHotels, InterContinental Hotels Group and Whitbread all released their latest earnings numbers in late October.
AccorHotels executives said the company still maintains its July 2017 guidance that full-year 2017 operating profit would be at the upper end of the €460 million ($542.5 million) to €480 million ($566.1 million) target range. IHG officials said the company was pondering the launch of a soft brand as it announced RevPAR was up year-on-year by 2.3%, its “strongest pace since 2010.” Whitbread leaders said the company is on track to have more than 100,000 rooms in the United Kingdom.
AccorHotels ends plans for independent distribution platform
AccorHotels has decided to end its project of opening its distribution platform to independent hotels, a scheme began in June 2015 when then-deputy CEO Vivek Badrinath said the plan was to include 10,000 independent hotels in 320 markets on the French hotel firm’s own distribution platform.
The included independents were to be carefully selected so as not to cannibalize AccorHotels’ branded properties, but according to sources only 2,000 properties signed up for the initiative.
TUI Blue builds own identity amid larger tour firm
TUI Group’s TUI Blue brand has ambitious plans to expand its presence within a company better known for its tour operations and holiday-package offerings, according to TUI Blue’s managing director Artur Gerber.
Gerber said TUI Blue’s business model—like the brand’s demand base—for its hotels will continue to be varied as the brand plans 2018 debuts for TUI Blue hotels in Mallorca, Portugal and Tunisia, as well as adding its third property in Turkey. A new property is also planned for Austria.
London budget Travelodge property sells for almost $50m
Very close to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge—two of London’s most iconic landmarks—the Travelodge Hotel at Tower Bridge has been sold by real estate company Aprirose for £47.1 million ($62 million).
The sale to CCLA Investment Management on behalf of Local Authorities Mutual Investment Trust represents a net initial yield of 3.6% on the 190-room property. In September, Aprirose bought the 26-asset QHotels portfolio for a reported £525m ($691.1 million).
Deals and developments
- In 2019, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts and real estate management firm Deka Immobilien will open the 72-room Mövenpick Hotel The Hague in the administrative capital of The Netherlands. The Swiss hotel firm also announced its renewed its existing lease “for more than 30 years” on the 408-room Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Center in the Dutch cultural capital.
- Irish hotel firm Dalata Hotel Group will debut its first property in Scotland with a 300-room Clayton-branded hotel in Glasgow. The hotel is due to open in the fourth quarter of 2020 in a development with Artisan St. Enoch Quarter, a subsidiary of Artisan Real Estate Investors.
- The Hampton by Hilton brand also debuted in Scotland, with the late October opening of the 228-room Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh West End in Edinburgh.
- Kerzner International Holdings, Dolphin Capital Partners and Dolphin Capital Investors have debuted the luxury One&Only brand in Greece with a 75-room asset on the island of Kéa, part of the Cyclades Islands. A second One&Only hotel will open in Montenegro in 2018.
- Now owned in part by AccorHotels, 25hours Hotels announced its latest project, the 165-room 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian, which opened in Munich on 3 November.
Compiled by Terence Baker.