STR: Hotels in Europe stay strong during Q1 2019

Hard Rock Hotel Madrid
The 159-room Hard Rock Hotel Madrid is slated to open this year. Photo credit: Hard Rock International

Europe’s hotel industry reported mostly positive results in the three key performance metrics during Q1 2019, according to the latest data from STR.

From the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, occupancy across the continent fell 0.2 percent to 63.7 percent, while average daily rate improved 1.6 percent to €101.28. Revenue per available room grew 1.3 percent to €64.56. 

In Madrid—which has faced fears of a bubble bursting after several years of strong visitor growth—occupancy improved 2.6 percent to 71.1 percent, suggesting that the feared downturn still has not come to pass. ADR grew 5.7 percent to €106.79, while RevPAR was up 8.4 percent to €75.95.

The absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels were the highest among first quarters with the most complete samples in STR’s Madrid database. STR analysts attribute a 4.4 percent rise in demand (roomnights sold) to major events hosted in the market, such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid (Jan. 24-29), ARCOmadrid (Feb. 27-March 3), World ATM Congress (March 12-13), Motortec Automechnika (March 13-16) and the annual match between Real Madrid and Barcelona (March 2). 

In Athens, Greece—another city that had been celebrating a rebound after several challenging years—occupancy fell 11 percent to 54.5 percent and RevPAR dropped 9.3 percent to €56.32. ADR, on the other hand, improved 1.9 percent to €103.34

STR analysts note that a 9.2 percent decline in demand in the market came in comparison with a strong Q1 in 2018, when the number of rooms sold grew 5.4 percent and RevPAR jumped 13.2 percent. At the same time, however, Athens’ absolute occupancy level was its worst for a Q1 since 2014. New inventory played a role in the equation because a 2 percent increase in supply was the largest for a Q1 in the market for quite some time. Additionally, a surge in short-term rentals (as outlined by AirDNA) could at least partly explain how airport arrivals are up, yet hotel demand is down, STR’s analysts said.