Miranda Dobson

Member Article

London hotels to suffer 2013 slowdown

Hoteliers in London could suffer from a post-Olympic slump, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ survey of European city hotels.

A slowdown in the hotel business was predicted across Europe, and PwC said no cities on the continent would reach double-digit growth.

Although London will particularly suffer from a drop-off of visitors in comparison to high tourism figures during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, trading will maintain high levels and will still be profitable.

In 2012, St Petersburg fared the best in terms of revenue growth per available room (RevPAR), with a 14.1% rise, while Prague (13.9%), Moscow (12.9%), Berlin (9.6%) and Paris (9%) followed closely behind.

Despite the success of hoteliers in these cities, PwC warned that the hotel sector would face a “challenging landscape” in 2013, as a result of the prolonged economic downturn, although Paris, St Petersburg and Edinburgh will remain robust.

While PwC expects Frankfurt, Berlin, Moscow and Dublin to see marginal increases in RevPAR, however none of the 19 European cities in the survey will experience significant growth.

Jonathan Greenaway, partner at PwC, said: “A return to a steady state of economic growth is not likely in the short term and the hotel industry has to adapt to this ‘new normal’ as well as to new trends and challenges facing the sector.

“Our 2013 forecast depends largely on how the eurozone crisis evolves. Whilst currently we expect steady growth in many cities, if the crisis escalates, we may see even less promising results for the hotel industry.

“2013 may be largely about the economy but it will also be about seizing the opportunities created by past investment, a clear strategy and skilful management.”

PwC’s head of hospitality and leisure research, Liz Hall, added: “Hoteliers face a host of issues and challenges this year – not just the economic downturn but advances in how their customers use technology and social media to evaluate and make purchases.

“Customer engagement will be crucial – with fewer customers to go around in 2013, loyalty and reward programmes could make the difference between success and failure.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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