Market on the top

22 January 2020

With 2019 having come to a close, our partners at the industry leaders in hospitality analytics, STR, highlight six European hotel markets that experienced performance growth in 2019, and look at the some of the reasons behind the numbers.


Istanbul reported significant yearover- year performance growth in the opening eight months of 2019 as RevPAR increased by 32.8%. This lift is a sign of the market’s recovery, following a difficult period that began with a spate of terror attacks in Turkey in 2015 and a travel ban implemented due to political tensions with Russia.

However, demand rose by 16.2% in 2018, and this momentum continued into 2019, with the January to August period producing a 7% increase. With supply also rising in 2019, albeit at a slower rate than demand, there’s an indication that investor confidence is returning.

This trend is reflected by Istanbul’s 3.8% occupancy growth in the first eight months of the year, and the devaluation of the Turkish lira has led to notable ADR growth, rising by 28% over the same period. Growth against the US dollar has been muted, which reinforces Istanbul’s appeal for overseas travellers. RevPAR rose by 52.6% in Q2 of 2019, the typical high season for leisure visitors, representing another tick in the returning-visitor confidence box.


Israel’s capital produced 16.4% RevPAR growth in the opening eight months of 2019, predominantly driven by ADR uplift of 12.7% as occupancy increased by 3.3% over the same period. Jerusalem’s performance is consistent with market trends across the country, as Eilat (+15.2%) also reported growth in light of an increase in overnight arrivals in Israel. Following growth of 14.1% in 2018, arrivals are projected to increase by an additional 4.3% in 2019.


Austria’s capital has experienced a popularity increase in recent years, welcoming 7.5 million global visitors in 2018 – a 6% increase on 2018. Much of this can be attributed to a packed events calendar, with the Vienna Convention Bureau estimating that 12% of all overnight stays in 2018 can be attributed to congresses, meeting and incentives.

The trend for demand growth has continued, and Vienna recorded an occupancy increase of 3.5% as of August year-to-date. The market produced an ADR growth of 11.7% over the same January to August period, a result of double-digit increases in all market classes, leading to a RevPAR lift of 15.6%.


The Spanish capital has led RevPAR growth in the Iberian market, as a strong and balanced business mix of corporate and leisure tourism drove a 13.5% lift in the metric. Occupancy rose by 2.5% in the opening eight months of 2019, but ADR growth has been the headline – up by 10.7% for the same period.

June was a standout month in Madrid, as a series of events drove a 43.5% increase in ADR. The market hosted the UEFA Champions League Final, Madrid Pride 2019 and the 20th Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR), among others. As a result, the market achieved strong demand growth (+3.7%) for the January to August period and benefitted from muted supply growth of 1.2%.


Following Madrid, Barcelona reported an 11.4% RevPAR increase during the January to August period. The social and political unrest caused by October 2017’s referendum caused 14 months of consecutive occupancy declines, yet Barcelona recorded a 4.5% year-over-year increase in the opening eight months of 2019. This has allowed hoteliers to increase rates, which are up by 6.6% for the same period. Key events have driven market performance in the first eight months of the year, including Infarma, MWC, EAU, AEDV, SILACO-GEER and EAMHID congresses. Another interesting driver of performance is the current supply-demand dynamic. A moratorium on new hotels is limiting supply (+0.9%), while demand increased by 5.5% for the first eight months of 2019. 

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