hospitality Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

B&B to Invest €70 Million in Seven Hotels in Portugal
9 January 2019 B&B is planning to open seven new hotels in Portugal, in the cities of Loures, Montijo, Oeiras, Matosinhos, Vila Nova de Gaia, Viseu and Viana do Castelo. B&B, which opened its first hotel in Portugal (Cantanhede) in 2018, has already chosen the location of its next seven units. The hotel chain is planning to open seven new hotels in Portugal, in a total investment of 70 million euros, according to a statement issued on Wednesday, January 9. After its first hotel in Cantanhede, B&B will first open another new hotel in Loures. The B&B Hotel Lisbon Airport is a 188-room, three-star unit, with a total investment of 15 million euros, according to the statement. António Rodrigues, CEO of the Casais Group, Bernardino Soares, president of the Loures City Council, and Jairo Gonzalez, CEO of B&B, all took part in the ceremony laying the first stone. Construction on the hotel is slated to last for 16 months. The Casais Group will be responsible for the unit’s construction. The construction company will also build two of the group’s other future hotels in Montijo and Oeiras. B&B expects to complete these two units by 2020. "B&B Hotels has also opened other hotels in Portugal, namely in Matosinhos, Vila Nova de Gaia, Viseu and Viana do Castelo," said the same source. In total, B&B estimates that its overall investment in the seven projects in Portugal will reach 70 million euros. In December, Jairo González, head of B&B for the Iberian Peninsula, revealed in an interview with the Spanish newspaper Cinco Días, that B&B wanted to open 15 new hotels in the Iberian Peninsula, 10 in Spain and five in Portugal. A statement this Wednesday added to the total number of new hotels in Portugal while identifying their locations. At the time of the announcement, the executive, in an interview on B&B’s investments in the Spanish market, stated that our "focus would be on cheap, central, affordable and modern hotels for customers who pay from their own pocket and whose rates fluctuate according to demand. There may be tariffs ranging from 80 euros in the low season to 200 euros in high season." Negócios attempted to contact the company directly, without success. The 28-year-old company has been present in Spain since 2015. In 2018, it entered four new markets: Belgium, Switzerland, Slovenia and Austria, according to the company's website. The hotel chain plans to have 620 hotels around the world by the end of 2020. Currently, it has 450, which "means it will need to open 50 hotels per year or one per week," said Jairo Gonzalez. Original Story: Jornal de Negócios - Sara Antunes Translation: Richard Turner  
Aveiro Undergoes Real Estate Boom Based on Hopes for Urban Renewal
9 January 2019 Ribau Esteves stated his belief that investments by the city council in urban renewal are leading private investors to take a second look at potential investments in the city, particularly in hotels and retail. The city’s mayor took advantage of the presentation of a preliminary study on the renewal of the Rossio area, which would create an underground parking facility, to highlight some of the projects under discussion at the city council.  He specifically referred to five-star hotels, of which there are still none in the city. The expressions of interest by private investors, according to the politician, occurred after "comprehensive urban planning" by the city council, with a series of interventions in the urban area under the so-called PEDUCA package, which is part of an urban renewal program focused on Avenida Lourenço Peixinho, the city’s main artery. "When we are working with investors, private companies, this matter is discussed," Mayor Esteves explained in response to Manuel Oliveira de Sousa (Socialist Part), who criticised the lack of a "strategic framework" to coordinate the range of redevelopments to the public space.

Large store and a hotel in the former Bank of Portugal

"Within a few weeks," the mayor announced, a well-known store will open on Avenida Lourenço Peixinho. He added that it is "one of the best stores of one of the most famous Portuguese brands in the world." "[The chain] isn’t going to open a store at the chosen site simply because they just enjoyed the idea of it, they were attracted by the [city’s] new dynamics," due to the new construction, including pedestrian pathways between the former Bank of Portugal building and the old trading post building. "This is why it chose that site for one of its finest shops in the country and the world," said the mayor. Last year, in that same area of ​​the city, the Commercial Association of Aveiro (ACA) sold its headquarters to real estate investors. Ribau Esteves said that there are "a dozen investment projects focused on the avenue, based on a revision of the PDM and our investments. We will finally have a modern and high-quality, high street." There are also plans by private investors to build five-star hotels. "The first" will begin construction within the next weeks, in the centre of the city. The site of the future hotel is the former Visconde de Valdemouro palace on Rua José Estêvão, which was once owned by the Diocese. Two other investors are committed to projects for luxury hotels. Plans have already been announced to build a new hotel at the site of the former Bóia & Irmão factory. The mayor also stated that the former Bank of Portugal building, currently occupied by the Tax Authority, will also become the home to a new hotel. "When investors begin looking at the city and talking to us about investments, they are following public investment. They look at these areas because it makes sense," said Ribau Esteves. Original Story: Notícias de Aveiro Translation: Richard Turner
Algarve: Hotel Occupancy in December Reaches Highest Level in 20 Years
7 January 2019 The per room occupancy rate in hotels in the Algarve reached 34% in December, one of the highest figures for the month in the last 20 years, according to provisional data released today by AHETA. The average total hotel occupancy rate per room was 1.1 percentage points higher than in December 2017, due to growth in the French, German and British markets, according to the Algarve Association of Hotels and Tourism Enterprises (AHETA). The figure is one of the highest for the same month in the last 20 years, though still below the 35.5% recorded in December 2016, according to AHETA. According to the largest local association in the sector, the rise was mainly due to visits by the French (up 18.5%), German (+10.2%) and British (+9.3%). The Dutch market showed the biggest fall (-18.8%), capping the rise, AHETA noted. Since the beginning of the year, the hotel occupancy rate per room has declined by 1.1% and turnover has increased by 3.7%. The volume of sales also rose by 11.2% over the same period. Original Story: Notícias ao Minuto / Lusa Translation: Richard Turner