If the beginning of the year had already begun with a split between South-Western and North-Eastern Europe, the month of February confirms this trend. While the United Kingdom even regains its attendance levels, Germany falls back into the red.
Overall, the European hotel industry posted a higher RevPAR in February than before the COVID-crisis, with growth of +9.5%, a dynamic that is up compared to the previous month (only +3.8% in January 2023 vs. January 2019). Although the number of visitors has not yet reached the levels of 2019 (-4.2 points in February) at the end of the winter, ADR are up by +17.1%.
In terms of ranges, none of them managed this month to reach an occupancy level equivalent to February 2019, but the gap remains narrow in the budget-economy segments, which show a deficit of less than 3 points. The upscale is still lagging behind by almost 7 points. On the other hand, thanks to a considerable increase in ADRs, all ranges are seeing an upturn in RevPAR ranging from 8.6% (mid-scape) to 11.3% (budget).
At the country level, Hungary and Poland have stood out for several months due to inflation rates that skew ADRs, with both countries showing RevPAR increases of over 20% in Poland and over 50% in Hungary.
Apart from this unusual phenomenon, there is a clear division between Southern and Western Europe and North Eastern Europe.
Indeed, the trend is rather positive in France and the neighbouring countries. Western and Southern Europe are leading the way: in February, Portugal posted an 18% growth in RevPAR followed by Italy (+17.8%), France (16.4%), Spain (13.6%) and Greece (6.7%). The results in terms of occupancy rates are rather good in these countries with more than -0.9 points behind for Spain or -1.8 points for France. If Portugal leads in terms of RevPAR growth vs. pre-crisis, this is due to the increase in ADRs which amounts to almost 30% (28.7%).
But the only country to recover its February occupancy level is the UK with 0.1 points occupancy vs. February 2019. Thanks to average prices up 16.9%, the country posted 17.1% growth in hotel activity.
In Eastern Europe, the trend is still mostly in the red: Germany still has a deficit in terms of RevPAR (-4.1%) even though its ADRs has increased by 12.7% but it is still lagging behind in terms of occupancy rate by 10 points. While the trend is better in the Netherlands and Switzerland, with only -2.5% and -3.2% respectively, it is worse in Luxembourg, where it is still -15.5%.
The situation is tending to improve in Latvia, but it has not yet reached its pre-covid standards (-3.2% RevPAR). The Czech Republic, which is lagging behind both in terms of occupancy and ADRs, is still down 12.2% in RevPAR this month.
On the other hand, Austria managed to post growth in RevPAR this month: +0.3% thanks to a 16.3% increase in ADRs. Belgium follows the same trend with +0.7% RevPAR due to a +15.9% increase in ADRs.
Will the spring offer countries still on the fringes, a path to recovery?