Europe has gotten a lot of coverage at this year's IHIF Berlin, with both global and local hotel brands announcing expansions and industry insiders sharing their insights on what's ahead. Here's what you may have missed...
Choice Hotels Europe--the company behind the Comfort, Quality and Clarion brands in Europe and part of Choice Hotels International--announced that it has opened 12 European properties since October 2013 in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. Five of the new properties are located in the UK, four have opened in France and one each are in Ireland, Italy and Germany.
Last year, yoo Hotels launched at IHIF. This year, the company launched a new subset: yoo2 has opened in Taksim Square, Istanbul, as part of a partnership with WorldHotels. The yoo2 Taksim Square looks out over the Bosphorus and sits on the steps of Gezi Park.
Budget hotel company Meininger hotels has sixteen properties and 2,000 rooms in Europe, and is poised to leverage of the expected growth and strength of the European Budget Hotel sector. Meininger is aiming to bring its hotels to all major European cities within the next five years. Meininger is supporting IHIF as a sponsor, and the company's existing hotels operate on long-term leases with owners ranging from property developers to institutional investors.
Global hotel consultancy HVS London released figures on European hotel transactions as IHIF kicked off, showing that transactions in Europe reached a value of $10.6 billion in 2013. According to Hotelier Middle East, Middle Eastern buyers have figured heavily in recent global hotel investment, with capital generated from the region representing a massive 30 percent of total volume in 2013, up from 12 percent in 2012 and totaling $3.2 billion, up from $889 million in 2012.
The latest figures from JLL shows that the UK remains the leading market for hotel investment, attracting 37 percent share of EMEA hotel investment volume in 2013. Positive trading sentiment, and increased institutional investment across the UK will underpin investor demand in the hotel market in 2014. This will also be aided by the increasing appetite of UK domestic banks such as RBS, Lloyds and Barclays, as well as overseas banks such as the Bank of China and a number of Middle Eastern banks, to lend to the hotel sector.
Just before IHIF began, Tim Helliwell, Head of Hotel Finance at Barclays, shared his outlooks for the hotel sector in 2014, a year in which he expects a continuation of the general improvement seen since the middle of last year.
“We are witnessing wider growth in the hotel sector beyond the gateway cities with provincial markets seeing signs of improved trading," he said. "This is a healthy sign for our sector and looks set to continue through the year with an increased appetite from investors buoyed by greater levels of liquidity and the general improvement in confidence. This, in turn, is creating a more positive environment for acquisitions to take place with growing confidence among buyers and we are already seeing an uptick in such activity.”
The IHIF, the International Hotel Investment Forum, takes place in Berlin from March 3-6 and is owned by Questex Media. The three-day conference is the leading annual meeting place for the hospitality industry, and unites global industry professionals to help expand business worldwide