HotStats: EMEA hotels post a mix bag of numbers for 2014

This week, HotStats released its 2015 UK, Europe & MENA Hotel Industry Report, examining the full year for 2014's hotel numbers throughout the region and comparing those numbers with 2013's performance. Notable highlights include: 

London – Despite a RevPAR increase of 2.2 percent in 2014, hotels saw a 0.4 percentage point decline in rooms conversion that HotStats credits to rising travel agents commission cost. Last month, STR Global and property consultant Rider Levett Bucknall noted that in London, average daily rates in the city increased from £119 in 2013 to £130 last year, with occupancy up 0.5 percent to 83 percent. Price rates increased by 16 percent. In January, city officials announced plans to implement a £1-per-night bed tax for hotel stays in central London to plug funding gaps.

Scotland – Although F&B conversion went down by 0.6 percentage points, hotels in Scotland managed to increase GOP conversion by 1.9 percentage points in 2014. In October, following the vote to remain part of the United Kingdom, HotStats noted that Scotland's hoteliers saw a 27.3 percent surge in gross operating profit per available room (the Total Gross Operating Profit for the period divided by the total available rooms during the period). Since then, Accor announced plans to open three hotels in the country, and Starwood acquired the country's Town House collection, including Glasgow's luxury Blythswood Square hotel and boutique Edinburgh hotel The Bonham.

Abu Dhabi – The Abu Dhabi hotel market achieved strong performance across the board in 2014 with occupancy levels rising by 5.3 percentage points. Last year, the InterContinental Abu Dhabi - Grand Marina set a tentative opening date for 2016 near the city's existing InterContinental property. 

Dubai – The emirate saw a profit increase driven by non-rooms departments, thanks to increases in F&B and C&B revenues as well as efficient cost controls. In advance of its hosting of the 2020 World Expo, Dubai is seeking to attract more than 20 million visitors per year, and hoteliers are preparing for an influx of travelers. Last year, developers began shifting away from luxury properties in a bid to attract a wider range of travelers to Dubai. Former Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide CEO Frits van Paasschen said that the "next wave of growth in Dubai will be with some of our three and four-star brands such as Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton." Emaar Hospitality Group, a Dubai-based global property developer, in partnership with Meraas Holding, a Dubai-based leading development company, is developing a new mid-market lifestyle brand called Rove Hotels that is expected to have 10 properties in "central locations" across the emirate and region by 2020. The Hyatt Regency Dubai opened its doors earlier this month, and Carlson Rezidor announced plans for a Park Inn by Radisson to open in early 2017. In January, R Hotels, the hospitality division of Ajman-based R Holding, secured funds worth Dh204 million ($55.5 million) from the Commercial Bank of Dubai to back the development of its recently announced property in Dubai's Palm Jumeirah. The fund is part of R Hotel’s Dh500 million ($136 million) hotel investment at The Palm, which is set to open in the last quarter of 2016.

Istanbul – Hotels in Istanbul experienced mixed movements across their KPIs in 2014, but still managed to register a profit growth of 5.9 percent in comparison to 2013. The city recently saw its third Hyatt-branded hotel open earlier this year. 

Riyadh – Profit level growth in the Saudi capital remained strong in 2014 despite a 7.3 percent decrease in ARR. In terms of development, a new Radisson Blu hotel is slated to open by the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centerby in the second quarter of 2017, and the Al-Futtaim Group entered into a joint venture with local partners to develop what is expected to be Saudi Arabia’s largest shopping mall, along with a a 500-room luxury hotel. 

Looking ahead, HotStats expects that in spite of an anticipated RevPAR decrease of 3.3 percent, hotels in Dubai will see a double digit increase in gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) in 2015. On the other hand, hotels in Munich will see a positive year ahead with increases expected in total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) and GOPPAR by 8.7 percent and 16.7 percent in 2015. Similar positive trends are forecast for the Regional UK hotels to continue building on their 2014 performance with surges in TRevPAR by 2.2 percent and GOPPAR by 6.1 percent, according to the latest data released by e-forecasting and HotStats.