Europe’s hotel industry made a comeback in 2014

ECM MKG Report European Destinations Observatory January December 2014 CoverAfter difficult years for some European Countries, the first signs of economic growth appeared again in 2014 and the hotel activity has regained the road to recovery, according to the latest results from the ECM-MKG European Destinations Observatory report1.

Europe’s hotel industry ended the year 2014 with a 3.8% increase in RevPAR2 and an occupancy rate of around 70% increasing by 1.9 points over 2013.

The European Average Daily Rates3, still stagnant in 2013, progressed by 2% in 2014. The increasing number of arrivals, especially international ones, has led hoteliers to raise their rates. Renewed growth in the ADR is also the result of a budding economic recovery in some European countries where domestic travel is gradually less impeded by a weak purchasing power.

Southern Europe drives Europe’s return to activity

While most European countries are on a growth trend, the return to activity is driven by Southern Europe: strong growths in occupancy rate were recorded by Lisbon (+3.7 points), Madrid (+3.9 points), Seville (+4.8 points) and Zaragoza (+6.0 points). Those cities and their respective countries suffered the impact of the financial crisis in 2008 but kept their appeal to foreign clientele, particularly in a tense global geopolitical and economic context. As a result, their price competitiveness have fully benefited to their tourism and hotel industry. Spain has ended 2014 with a new record of tourist arrivals while cities like Lisbon, financially attractive to foreign clientele, benefit from the dynamism of international arrivals and comes at the top of this recovery with a strong increase in RevPAR by 7.9%.

Major events and airline connections boost Central Europe

Renewed activity was also observed in Central Europe, Budapest stood out with double-digit growth in its RevPAR and a strong international clientele, driven by the democratisation of airline connections and attractive prices.

Northern and Western Europe still withstand thanks to business activity

The hotel industry in Northern and Western Europe showed its resistance with indicators up in most countries. Copenhagen saw its RevPAR increase due to the high occupancy rate of the congress sector.
London, once again shows the highest occupancy rate in this part of Europe, close to 86%, and has seen its RevPAR increase by 3.4% in 2014. Great Britain has progressed since London hosted the Olympics in 2012.

In Germany, the success of the major trade fairs and expos together with the growing popularity of the country as a weekend destination both benefited the hotel industry.

Benefiting from dynamic business activity and a full events calendar, the other destinations in the region also contributed to European growth.

Ignasi de Delàs, ECM President concluded: “Driven by the rebound of Southern Europe, all of the continent’s hotel industry made a comeback in 2014. This is good news as we struggled to find our way out of the worst economic period in our history. Tourism has been a major contributor of economic recovery in Europe as it is still the most visited region in the world.”


1ECM-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.
2RevPAR: Revenue per Available Room – occupancy rate x average price or room revenue divided by available rooms.
3ADR: Average Daily Rate – room revenue divided by number of sold rooms.


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