Benelux Hotel Market Stabilising

By On 12th June 2013

The hotel industry in the Benelux is showing stable figures, even as the economy continues to struggle. The new HOSTA 2013 report from Horwath HTL shows that the occupancies have remained stable in 2012, although the average room rates decreased slightly.

The Netherlands

In The Netherlands hotel market, the average occupancy decreased slightly, from 67.2% in 2011 to 66.7% in 2012. This brings an end to a period of increasing occupancies, which started in 2010. The average room rate in 2012 also decreased slightly, from € 98 to € 97. In 2011 the average room rate had increased for the first time, after a strong decline from 2007 to 2010.

The total room revenues per year decreased, as a result of the lower occupancies and average room rates, by 3% from € 24,350 per room to € 23,600. The total revenues per room decreased more, by 5.7%, from € 42,500 to € 40,000. The average gross operating profit per room decreased by 4.0%, from € 15,500 to € 14,800. The decrease in profits is smaller than the decrease in revenues, as the hotels limited their average costs. Expressed as a percentage of total revenues, the gross operating profit increased from 35.9% in 2011 to 36.5% in 2012.

The total supply of hotel rooms in the Dutch three, four and five star market increased by 3% in 2012, from 85,347 hotel rooms to 87,840. The number of hotels increased by 28. As the average hotel occupancy has decreased only slightly, this shows that the new hotels have been absorbed by the market.

In the Amsterdam & Schiphol region, the average occupancy last year dropped by 1.1 percentage points, from 77.8% to 76.7%. The average room rate remained stable at € 118. Here we also see that the hotel market has absorbed the new additions to the supply. In 2011 and 2012, Amsterdam realised almost 3,000 new hotel rooms, an increase in the supply of almost 15%. The occupancy increased in these two years, from 75.1% to 76.7%. The average room rate in 2012 was also over 8% higher than in 2010. The results show how dynamic the hotel market in Amsterdam can be, even in a period of low economic growth.

Still, Dutch hoteliers remain cautious in the outlook for 2013 and 2014. The results from the HOSTA 2013 report show that the hotel managers expect the occupancy to remain stable this year, at 67.2%. The average room rate is also expected to remain stable at € 97. The reality of the first quarter of 2013 shows that the occupancies are indeed remaining stable, but that the average room rates have decreased compared to the same quarter last year. For next year, the hoteliers do expect the results to increase to 68.4% occupancy with an average room rate of € 100.

Belgium & Luxembourg

The research by Horwath HTL shows that the average occupancy in Belgium & Luxembourg increased from 69.3% in 2011 to 69.4% in 2012, an increase of 0.1 percentage points. The average room rates decreased from € 91 to € 90, a decrease by 1.1%.

The RevPAR, the average room revenue per available room, also decreased as a result of the lower average room rates, from € 63 in 2011 to € 62 in 2012. The total revenue per room per year increased from € 35,900 to € 37,400, an increase by 4.2%. The increase was achieved with higher spending on food, beverage and meeting rooms.

The average gross operating profit per hotel room per year increased by 2.8%, from € 10,800 in 2011 to € 11,100 in 2012. As the revenues from restaurants and meeting rooms require higher costs, the profit increased less than the revenues. As a percentage of total revenues, the gross operating profit decreased from 30.1% to 29.4%.

The share of business individual guests in Belgium & Luxembourg decreased again in 2012, from 38% to 37%. The share of conference guests also decreased, from 13% to 12%. However, the share of leisure guests remained stable at 33%, while the share of tour groups increased from 10% to 12%. The share of aircrew and other guests remained stable at 6%.

For 2013, most hoteliers in Belgium & Luxembourg expect the corporate segment to revive, while the other segments are expected to remain at a stable level. The occupancy is expected to increase to 70.6%. The average room rate however is expected to decrease by 1.1%, which would result in an average room rate of € 89.

Reputation management

The HOSTA 2013 report by Horwath HTL shows that 100% of Dutch hotels follow their online reviews. The most watched are the reviews on (96%), Zoover (82%), Tripadvisor (78%) and the hotel website (65%). Additionally, 79% of hoteliers check how the hotel is mentioned on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Approximately 88% of the hoteliers do not only follow the reviews, but also reply to at least some reviews. The most replies are sent to reviews on social media (66%), Tripadvisor (56%), (44%) and the hotel website (40%).

With regards to social media, Facebook is the preferred platform among Dutch hoteliers. In 2013, 90% of hoteliers is present on Facebook; in 2010 this was only 31%. Other popular social media for hotels are Twitter (78%) and LinkedIn (56%). Hyves, the Dutch social media platform, has decreased in popularity: in 2010 29% of hoteliers was still active here, but in 2013 this is only 4%. The share of hotels without any social media presence has decreased in three years from 29% to 8%.

Results per country and region

The table below gives an overview of the results per country and region.


HOSTA 2013

The HOSTA 2013 report is a publication by consulting agency Horwath HTL. The report gives the results of the hotel industry in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. A total of 472 three, four and five star hotels in the Benelux participated in the research.
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Marco van Bruggen

As senior consultant with Horwath HTL, Marco van Bruggen has carried out over 150 market analyses, feasibility studies and valuations for stand-alone and mixed-use projects including hotels, meeting centres, golf courses and leisure facilities in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Notable projects include a study into the hotel market in all 10 municipalities along the Flemish coast, an analysis of hotel development potential and opportunities in the Dutch province of Zeeland and a feasibility study for the extension of hotel and conference facilities of Novotel Amsterdam. Additionally, Marco organises and coordinates all annual and bi-annual market statistics available from Horwath HTL Benelux, including the annual Hotel Statistics (HOSTA). Marco also maintains press relations for Horwath HTL and has written articles for publications such as Hospitality Management, NRIT Magazine and Global Hotel Network.
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