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21 January 2018 | Hoteles

There are still plenty of opportunities for businesses in Spain, Europe and the UK

Businesses can look forward to a period of increasing confidence entering 2018 according to the latest report by Christie & Co, specialist hotel property adviser in Spain and business property adviser in United Kingdom

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In their Business Outlook 2018 report, Christie & Co reviews the most important investment figures in Spain, Europe and the UK, as well as the main hotel indicators of the market in 2017.

According to the data available to Christie & Co, Spanish hoteliers must strengthen their position in the face of the recovery of competing destinations such as Turkey, Egypt and Greece, which will exert greater pressure on prices and can divert part of the outbound tourism from northern Europe towards other sun and beach destinations.

The report emphasises the increase in investment registered in 2017 in Spain, mostly carried out by investors (51.2%), whose seven largest operations reached an amount greater than all the investment registered in 2016 in the country. In addition, the proportion of foreign investment represented the 56% of the total investment, mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

Regarding Portugal, the report highlights that only seven deals were known to the market in 2017, either of hotel assets sold individually to hotel operators (MGM Muthu or Hoti Hotels) and investors (Internos). The potential of Portugal in terms of hotel investment is growing, with many investors interested in Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve, mainly due to a remarkable market recovery, which, in the case of Lisbon recorded an increase of occupation of 2.8% and 14% of RevPAR up to September 2017, with respect to the same period in 2016.
Central and Eastern Europe, meanwhile, is also growing, reflecting the hotel market strength, with record figures in terms of visitors.

In Germany, where a constant growth in overnight stays has led to an increase in all hotel KPIs, it continues (as in Spain) with a higher demand than available existing supply, especially in terms of investor interest. Asian investors, mostly from Singapore, continue to show interest in large assets.

Austrian hotel market has remained stable in 2017, with Vienna remaining as the favourite investment destination; The Czech Republic and Hungary have also demonstrated strong activity in 2017, with a double digit increase in RevPAR as a reference, and with Prague as the strongest hotel market in Eastern Europe. Budapest, on the other hand, could turn into the fastest growing urban hotel market across Europe in 2018. Croatia, meanwhile, has seen higher tourist numbers as a result, in part, of instability in Northern Africa, as well as Greece and Turkey, and this has allowed to record good figures in 2017.

In France, the recovery has benefited the hotel sector in 2017. With a rebound in visitor numbers and improving economic conditions, the market has strengthened considerably, generating new hotel developments, where limited service and lifestyle hotels are increasingly popular.

Regarding UK, where the advisor covers a wider range of sectors, Christie & Co identifies those which benefitted from activity fuelled, in part, by the availability of finance and a surge of investors, many from outside the UK, looking for good opportunities and strong returns.

The continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit has made its impact across all sectors, but the UK has also welcomed a spike in tourism and a surge of foreign capital into the UK market. Asian investors particularly view the UK as an attractive investment opportunity thanks to the country’s stability and relatively low value of the Pound.

Finally, Nordic countries have shown an increase in tourism, particularly from Asia, which has led to an increase in RevPAR. In turn, this greater need for beds has led into a boost on hotel developments, a trend that will continue in 2018. The biggest challenge in the market, in this case, is the predominance of lease agreements, something that has remained a barrier for the incursion of international hotel brands in recent years.
Within Christie & Co, we are embracing change and bolstering our team at home and internationally to capitalise on our expertise to attract and support both new and well-established clients who need help navigating the market, and who want to ensure a high-performing business.

As a conclusion to the report, Christie & Co believes that economy is recovering and there are still plenty of growth opportunities, something that they are also embracing, bolstering their teams both in the UK and Europe, to capitalise their expertise to attract and support both new and well-established clients who need help navigating the market, and who want to ensure a high-performing business.