Europe has become a magnet for tourists from all over the world and this trend is fueling investment in the hotels and hospitality sector, experts agreed at Real Asset Media’s Hotels, Tourism, Hospitality & Accommodation Investment Briefing, which was held at MIPIM.
‘There is an enormous amount of private equity in the market, very actively looking, said Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International. ‘Money is cheap, interest rates are low, and you can’t go wrong in a market where you see double-digit growth in tourism arrivals and such a strong demand for hotel rooms’.
The number of tourists arriving in Europe is increasing at a rate of over 8% a year and reaching double digits in many areas.
‘We are experiencing incredible growth in this industry in Europe,’ said Johanna Capoani, Deputy Director – Head of Hotel Competence Centre, Swiss Life Asset Managers. ‘France and Belgium are experiencing a strong recovery now that the terrorist risk is subsiding, while Southern Europe is still doing fantastically well but not growing so fast now that Northern Africa has come back into play’.
Finding land or product in the right urban locations can be a real challenge, so innovative solutions must be found. ‘Our competitive advantage is land in a central location where normally there are many restraints on building and development,’ said Sergio Salvio, CFO & CIO, FS Sistemi Urbani. ‘We get the change of destination from railway to hospitality, as we have done at Tiburtina Station in Rome, and create a brand new hotel’.
The industry is changing completely and it is all driven by consumer demand’, said Bakker. ‘We are getting a new type of consumer, a new type of hotel and new types of product. Looking five years into the future, we’re seeing a compounded annual growth of 4.4% in hotel rooms and that’s not including Airb’n’b. It is no longer all about location, you need services, experience and personalisation’.
Swiss Life has a bottom-up approach, said Capoani: ‘We are focused on the adaptability of the single asset and then see how the asset fits into our strategy. We look at cities rather than countries’.
The lines between leisure and business are blurring, said Alessandro Belli, Head of Tourism Real Estate, CDP Investimenti: ‘We look for opportunities not just in cities but in leisure destinations as well in Italy, attracting tourists and business travellers’.
Tourism in Italy is growing at all levels, from 4 star hotels to hostels to serviced apartments, said Giorgio Bianchi, Director, Head of Italy, PKF hotelexperts: ‘The market is moving fast, not just in the main cities but also in secondary cities like Bergamo or Padua’.
Contact the editor here.