2016 reflects great disparities between European destinations in the hotel industry

The latest ECM-MKG European Destinations Observatory report* points out that in European cities, in 2016, the Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)** experienced a modest growth (+ 0.7%) compared to 2015. With a stable Occupancy Rate*** (-0.1 point), growth is driven by the Average Daily Rate (ADR)**** up by 0.9%. These overall results hide great disparities between European destinations, some of them registering serious setbacks, while others grow at a fast pace.

Throughout 2016, many cities on the axis crossing Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy experienced a decrease in their RevPAR.

The aftermaths of the Brussels lockdown in November 2015 and the attacks of March 2016 have strongly impacted the performances of the Belgium capital, which saw its occupancy drop by 11.7 points and its RevPAR decrease by 17.6%. Antwerp and Ghent are also on a negative trend, with a RevPAR decline of 5.5% and 2.1% respectively.

In France, Paris and Nice, both hit by terrorist attacks, saw their Occupancy Rate and Average Daily Rates decrease considerably, leading to a RevPAR drop of 12.6% in Paris and 8.9% in Nice. Not all French cities reported a decrease: RevPAR went up in Lille (+12.6%), Lyon (+7.1%), Toulouse (+6.8%), Bordeaux (+6.4%), Biarritz-Bayonne (+6.1%), Montpellier (+5%), Marseille (+2.5%), Strasbourg (+2.9%) or Reims (+0.4%).

As for the Italian cities reporting negative results, they often experienced a decline due to the exceptionally good results registered in the previous year: Milan’s 19.8% decrease in RevPAR has a lot to do with the excellent results registered during the World Expo in 2015. Turin (-0.1% in RevPAR) had exhibited its Holy Shrine in 2015 and the City of the Doges, Venice had hosted the Biennale di Venezia the same year (-5.5% in RevPAR).

The year 2016 has clearly been prosperous for cities located on the Iberian Peninsula.

In the Iberian Peninsula, arrivals grew under the combined effect of internal dynamics (improved economic context) and carryovers of visitors from Mediterranean destinations affected by terrorist attacks (Turkey, French Riviera, Egypt, Maghreb…). All cities in Spain (+12.4%) and Portugal (+11.1%) registered a strong RevPAR increase. This is for example the case with Barcelona, which hosted many international business meetings this year (MWC 2016, Smart City Expo, etc…) or Bilbao (SPAOM 2016, AMPLAP 2016, etc…). These two cities grew by 11.7% and 11.2% in RevPAR respectively. San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture in 2016, recorded the best RevPAR increase in Europe (+18.3%). As for Lisbon, it hosted several international medical congress in the last part of the year (EUGMS Congress 2016, IGCS 2016, etc…) and posted a RevPAR change by 7.5%.

Most central and Eastern European destinations also posted growth.

In Germany, RevPAR grew by 5% on average, with Düsseldorf, Nuremberg or Leipzig recording an increase by 17.8%, 15.6% and 8.8% respectively. In contrast, Cologne, Dresden or Frankfurt are on a down trend. Budapest, finished off the year on a 10.3% increase in RevPAR and outperformed Warsaw (+9%), Prague (+7.5%) and Vienna (+2.2%).

Last but not least, the « Brexit » did not turn visitors away from the United Kingdom.

Edinburgh and London kept registering the best Occupancy Rates in Europe (with 85.4% and 85.3% respectively).

All ECM members have exclusive access to the complete ECM-MKG European Destinations Observatory report with all the graphs and analysis.

*ECM-MKG European Destinations Observatory report: A report produced by MKG Hospitality and released several times a year by ECM that presents the development of key performance indicators for ECM member cities.
**RevPAR: Revenue Per Available Room – Occupancy Rate x average price or room revenue divided by available rooms.
***Occupancy Rate: Number of rooms sold divided by number of available rooms.
****ADR: Average Daily Rate – room revenue divided by number of sold rooms.


European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of members from more than 100 major cities in 36 countries.

Contact information

Flavie Baudot press@europeancitiesmarketing.com
+33 380 56 02 00

Established nearly 30 years ago, MKG Group® has built a solid reputation for business expertise and substantial European-based know-how in the tourism, hotel and hospitality sector. MKG provides a unique savoir-faire in market research, consulting, financial feasibility studies, individual property and portfolio asset valuations, as well as quality control campaigns. The foundation of knowledge and resource is OlaKala_suite, the largest industry database in Europe, representing all hotel segments.

OlaKala_suite, brings together all operational marketing tools in 3 major products:
* OlaKala_destination: Observatories (formerly HotelCompSet)
* OlaKala_marketshare: Competitive Set, market reports, price tracking (formerly HotelCompSet)
* OlaKala_host: Satisfaction surveys, eReputation, quality audit.