Christie & Co: Europe is Still the World’s Most Visited Region

9 January 2018 – Press Release

Europe was still the most appealing destination and most visited region in the world in 2017, despite some disruptions faced in recent years, according to a report published by Christie & Co.

The report, launched by Christie & Co’s Hotel Consultancy team and entitled ‘European Travel Trends and Hotel Investment Hot Spots’ identifies future investment opportunities in the European hotel market by highlighting areas for increasing the value of visitation in the European market, reviewing the growth opportunities of feeder markets in Europe, analysing issues surrounding accessibility and airport capacity and highlighting which markets are expected to achieve strong RevPAR increases in the coming years making them ideal candidates for investment.

Despite other reports detailing the impact of Brexit, to date, the impact on European tourism remains unseen and Christie & Co predict the general positive outlook for tourism in Europe will translate into increased demand for accommodation. European travellers remain the key source for European destinations with domestic and other European travellers accounting for almost 90% of demand. The established feeder markets including the US, Canada, Japan and Australia continue to generate visitation growth for the European market. India and China are expected to experience healthy GDP growth over the next five years and both have populations over four times the US and affluence continues to rise. Thus, creating tremendous visitation potential for the old continent.

Christie & Co have identified two opportunities for increasing the value of visitation in the European market; firstly, Spain and Greece lag behind Western and Northern Europe in terms of value of visitation per international arrival. Christie & Co sees a real opportunity to boost the value of visitation by improving the quality of the hotel stock. Secondly, there are good branding opportunities across the European market as the hotel stock in the majority of European markets remains currently heavily unbranded and in need of investment.

Airport capacity remains a key challenge as accessibility is one of the key drivers for tourism. Christie & Co have analysed eleven major airports in this report and the findings reveal that seasonality concerns can be mitigated through providing additional flights during the shoulder season, making seasonal destinations more attractive outside of their peak times. If airport capacity is addressed promptly it will create wider development opportunities for hotels and further infrastructure.

Anna Eck, from the hotels consultancy team at Christie & Co comments, “The findings of the report show quite clearly that whilst Europe as a destination remains extremely popular, there is huge opportunity for international brands to grow in the region. Markets such as Iceland, Poland, Demark, Portugal and Sweden provide options for hotel chains whilst Ireland, Spain, Portugal Poland and Sweden would be ideal for opportunistic investors willing to take more risk. These markets are all expected to achieve strong RevPAR increases in the coming years as well as demand growth in excess of supply.”

Carine Bonnejean, Head of Consultancy – Hotels at Christie & Co comments, “We have worked closely with our European colleagues to develop this report and as a pan-European team we are able to offer strategic advice to maximise the potential of our clients’ business and investments. The report finds that certain countries are ideal for different types of investor and we are able to identify which cities in those countries are worth prioritising. Whatever the situation, we help to formulate a strategy to generate the best outcome.”

Original story: Press Release

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Century 21’s CEO, Ricardo Sousa, On Spain’s RE Sector

9 June 2016 – Expansión

Century 21 left the Spanish market in 2007, when the tourism group Globalia took the decision to exit the country, but it returned in 2010 at the height of the real estate crisis, at the hand of the Portuguese businessman Ricardo Sousa, the master franchisor of Century 21 in Portugal since 2004. Now, the US real estate network plans to double its business in Spain, says Sousa, the CEO.

(In Spain), the chain started out in Cataluña, before moving to Madrid and the Costa del Sol; its expansion plan is now focused on Levante.

– You took a risk by returning to Spain, but now you have 40 offices….

When we arrived in 2010, the market was correcting itself. An opportunity arose and we didn’t think twice about it. A major recession was underway, but there was a clear need to change the product to serve the people. Spain was conditioned by brick and speculation, but during the crisis we saw the real needs of Spanish families. The most opportunistic operators were exiting and have now abandoned the real estate sector. The professionals have stayed, and that service and proximity (to our clients and markets) is what differentiates us.

– What are your thoughts regarding the recovery of the sector?

The recovery started in the main markets, like Madrid and Barcelona, but more peripheral areas have also begun to emerge this year. Families are starting to buy homes again, because there is more confidence and better access to mortgages. Spain has an incredible culture of ownership and now the real estate market is coming back. Moreover, areas such as Levante, which have strong international demand, are providing a huge boost.

 – With the current level of stock, do we need to build new homes?

Nothing has been built for years, and yes, demand exists for new developments and even renovations. But we may see changes in the profile of buyers, as we are increasingly depending on overseas purchasers. In particular, the instability in neighbouring countries means that we are attracting more tourists, and that is good, but we need to be prudent and anticipate the impact of the latest trends…

– Now you are planning to grow in Levante, working together with a local company…

Spain is a country of many realities and we have to specialise in each one, in order to add value. Our collaboration with Mahersol was born out of that idea. Our business outlook extends 20 years, and so we are looking at local businesses. We started this formula in the Canary Islands and are now implementing it in Levante, focusing, above all, on the Costa Blanca and Murcia.

– Do you think the political situation may restrict this progress and create instability?

In Portugal, we experienced something similar and partnerships that once seemed impossible were made possible. There is a stronger dynamic at play, namely the residential market, which moves at the margin of politics. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Mª José Cruz)

Translation: Carmel Drake