Thriving or surviving: European cities hotel forecast 2013 is a report by pwc.com/hospitality sharing data from 19 European gateway cities. You can access the full report yourself through the link. I picked up a print copy at the ALIS conference last week in Los Angeles.
Best report line: “With fewer customers to go round in 2013, loyalty and reward programmes could make the difference to the bottom line.” pwc.com
The presentations at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit #ALIS 2013 conference appeared bullish on the 2013 hotel industry year for the USA. Stocks are reaching record highs, companies are sitting on piles of money, and Americans are spending.
Europe is a different matter with the Euro crisis still being resolved.
I picked out some data from the pwc.com European cities hotel forecast 2013 report to share with readers on how the Europe forecast may affect loyalty travelers in 2013.
Data point: Most travelers in Europe are other Europeans traveling within Europe. More Europeans are traveling intra-Europe in 2013, but trips tend to be shorter duration and closer to home.
Arrivals: China is a growing source of tourists with 5 million visitors to Europe in 2012. American travel to Eastern Europe had growth in 2012. Overall Europe saw 2.4% growth of international visitors.
In 2013 the forecast is no growth in European tourism from inbound visitors and slight declines in western Europe and southern Mediterranean region.
Data point: Europe’s 19 most important gateway cities account for 650,000 hotel rooms and more than 85 million international arrivals each year.
Below I listed the room rates for 19 European cities taken from the Thriving or surviving: European cities hotel forecast 2013 report and then made some comments on a few cities from my viewpoint as a Loyalty Traveler looking at 2013 travel options in Europe for low cost hotels. I also want to know which cities are predicted to cost more in 2013 and what strategies I can plan to beat the high costs.
Average Daily Room Rate – ADR in euros (2012)
- Amsterdam 120.73 EUR (USD $162.40)
- Barcelona 115.35 EUR (USD $155.17)
- Berlin 90.27 EUR (USD $121.43)
- Brussels 104.81 EUR (USD $140.99)
- Dublin 90.44 EUR (USD $121.65)
- Edinburgh 100.49 EUR (USD $135.16)
- Frankfurt 121.05 EUR (USD $162.81)
- Geneva 253.85 EUR (USD $341.46)
- Lisbon 84.15 EUR (USD $113.20)
- London 174.11 EUR (USD $234.20)
- Madrid 80.27 EUR (USD $107.97)
- Milan 130.99 EUR (USD $176.20)
- Moscow 153.12 EUR (USD $205.96)
- Paris 267.11 EUR (USD $359.28)
- Prague 73.62 EUR (USD $99.03)
- Rome 146.57 EUR (USD $197.15)
- St. Petersburg 94.83 EUR (USD $127.55)
- Vienna 98.21 EUR (USD $132.10)
- Zurich 185.44 EUR (USD $249.42)
*Currency conversions via xe.com 1-28-13.
Paris, Geneva and Zurich stand out based on super high room rates alone. Paris average room rates of USD $350 or 267 EUR per night in 2012 sits atop the European marketplace in hotel room rates.
The pwc report shows Paris increased rates almost 10% in 2012 despite a very slight decline in hotel occupancy for the year. Paris is the number one tourist destination in the world. 15.6 million international visitors in 2011. There are 1,550 hotels in Paris with 90% of hotels having fewer than 80 rooms.
So what does data like this mean for loyalty travelers?
Paris is ascending a hotel rate peak right now. Still there are good deals to be found with Choice Privileges award nights in Paris offer at ten or more hotels for 8,000 points per night during several months in off-peak shoulder seasons. I do not see any 8,000 points rates now for Paris, so this might be a historical memory for Choice Privileges in 2013.
IHG 2-for-1 nights are generally not so common at Paris hotels, but a site check today pulled up some 2-for-1 rates in Paris. It was not always clear, but any hotel with a rate under 150EUR per night appeared to be a 2-for-1 participating hotel. 2-for-1 rates have same prepayment penalty as advanced purchase rates.
Crowne Plaza Paris Republique Feb 8-10, 2013
- 84.50 EUR (USD $113.73) per night 2-for-1 rate in Standard Room
- 142.50 EUR (USD $191.7) per night Advance Purchase rate in Standard Room
- 152.50 EUR (USD $205.25) per night Advance Purchase with Breakfast in Standard Room
- 172.00 EUR (USD $231.50) per night Best Flexible Rate
- 2-for-1 rate is 40.7% discount on Advance Purchase rate.
Crowne Plaza Paris Republique April 19-21, 2013
- 122.00 EUR (USD $164.21) per night 2-for-1 rate in Standard Room
- 217.00 EUR (USD $292.06) per night Advance Purchase rate in Standard Room
- 227.00 EUR (USD $305.53) per night Advance Purchase with Breakfast in Standard Room
- 240.50 EUR (USD $323.69) per night Best Flexible Rate
- 2-for-1 rate is 43.8% discount on Advance Purchase rate.
InterContinental Hotels Group 2-for-1 rates.
Rates of $350 per night make Paris a good location for spending hotel points when you arriving in peak season with few hotel deals. The hotel cash saved redeeming points in Paris might be a good time to burn points and save cash for the activities and dining part of the trip. Keep in mind though that award night rates in Paris are likely to already be at or near the top in hotel award cost. Compare your options. There are cases where spending $700 to $1,000 in Paris for your hotel will be a more economical option than burning points you can redeem in other cities and locations for twice the redemption value to save $1,400 to $2,000 for award stays elsewhere.
Room rates are forecast to drop almost 3% in London partly due to oversupply from Olympics with 13,000 new rooms in 2012 and 2013.
IHG 2-for-1 rates are the way to go for London where the rate is commonly available any days of the week.
My eye goes to the bargain destinations like Prague 73.62 EUR = USD$99 per hotel night. That equates to a week in Prague compared to two hotel nights in Paris. Prague is a fantastic city with beautiful architecture and Disneyesque views of the castle on the hill from the old town. Prague is forecast to only see a 0.5% increase in occupancy for 2013 and room rate ADR increase of 1.7%. Prague looks like one of the bargain cities for 2013.
Checking SPG.com I see a perfect example where Prague is a city to pay the Starwood rate and earn points and hopefully a good value loyalty promotion bonus rather than burning points for this category 4 hotel.
Sheraton Prague Charles Square Hotel, SPG category 4
$250 per night is a high price to pay for a room in Prague, but where else will you get a Sheraton two-level suite for that price?
Dublin has obviously seen its rates drop during the Euro crisis which has hampered the Irish economy for the past several years. Dublin is forecast for 1.9% room rate growth in 2013. Dublin is 5th of the 19 cities for occupancy at 75.1% and occupancy is forecast to grow another 1.2% in 2013.
TBEX Europe 13, the Travel Blog Exchange conference takes place in Dublin October 3-4, 2013.
Madrid has low rates and low occupancy. 2013 is forecast to remain weak with a slight occupancy dip from 64.7% in 2012. That already places Madrid in the bottom quarter of room occupancy and Madrid for 2013 is forecast to see the greatest room rate reduction (5.6%) of the 19 cities. Madrid should see some real hotel bargains in 2013 and using points for free award nights should not be a problem.
Berlin’s room rates are relatively low, except for the week of the ITB Berlin World Travel Trade Show in the first week of March. Rates tripled for hotels I checked (from $70 to $200+) compared to the week before and after ITB Berlin. Berlin will see modest 2.0% rate growth and 1.1% occupancy growth.
Russia looks like a location growing room rates quickly. So much of the news I hear in the travel industry talks about Russians traveling.
St. Petersburg visitors is expected to grow 10% in 2013, yet hotel occupancy is still low at under 60%. St. Petersburg has a population around 5 million, yet only 135 hotels. Half the hotels are 4-star hotels and 15% 5-star hotels. Only 120 new rooms opened in 2012.
St. Petersburg sounds to me like a place where there are bargains to be found. A quick glance at hotel selection via kayak.com shows IHG, Marriott and Carlson Rezidor have a presence. But with numerous 4 and 5 star hotels available for under $140 per night, I might be hard pressed not to try a more authentic Russian hotel.
kayak.com screenshot using Carlson Hotels filter for St. Petersburg, Russia
Reading through reports like the pwc.com/hospitality Thriving or surviving: European cities hotel forecast 2013 gives me information for making choices on where to travel. I look at southern Europe and eastern Europe as travel opportunities right now to stretch my hotel dollars. There are so many more places in Europe to see than the Tower of London and Eiffel Tower.
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.