Economy hurts Benelux hotels: Horwath HTL

The hotel industry in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg is still operating in the shadow of the economic crisis, according to a new report from Horwath HTL. Although occupancies and average room rates increased in 2011, they are still well below results achieved before the crisis, and the current economic downturn will also have a negative effect on 2012 performance, Horwath HTL said.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, occupancy increased from 65.1% to 67.2%. For the first time since 2007, the average room rate increased as well, to €98 (US$123) from €93 (US$116). The results, however, are still below 2007 levels, when occupancy was 72.5% and the average room rate was €110 (US$138).

For 2012 and 2013, both occupancies and average room rates are expected to increase just 1% per year.

The 5-star segment performed reasonably well in 2011, with occupancy increasing to 68.8%, higher than the average of the other star categories in the Netherlands. Average room rates in the top segment increased as well. For 2012 however, the outlook for 5-star hotels is less positive. Occupancy’s recovery is expected to slow down, and a small decrease in average room rate is projected.

Belgium and Luxembourg

In Belgium and Luxembourg, occupancy increased to 69.3% in 2011, from 68.1% in 2010, thanks to a healthy tourism market. Average room rates increased 1.1%, to €91 (US$114).

Hotel managers in Belgium and Luxembourg said they expect a further increase in 2012, with 72% occupancy and an average room rate of €92 (US$115). As in the Netherlands, these results are still well below the level of 2007, however.