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Brussels hotel industry recovers from last year’s attacks

brussels town hallThe aftermaths of the Brussels lockdown in November 2015 and the attacks of March 2016 have strongly impacted the performances in the Belgium capital, which saw its occupancy drop by 11.7 points and its RevPAR decrease by 17.6%. Now in 2017, Brussels' hotel market shows recovery; occupancy continues to grow for the last five consecutive months.

According to STR data, the hotel industry in Brussels, Belgium started to recover from November 2016. In November 2016, Belgium capital recorded a 10.2% increase in occupancy compared with the same month the previous year.

Comparing March 2017 with March 2016, Brussels recorded a 19.4% increase in occupancy to an actual level of 69.0%. While this was a substantial uplift, it was still 4.0% behind Brussels’ March 2015 occupancy level (71.9%), suggesting that this short-term growth has not yet resulted in a return to long-term averages.

Segmentation data from STR suggests that Brussels’ March results were driven by a 40.4% year-over-year increase in Group (bookings of 10 or more at once) occupancy, while Transient occupancy grew 18.8%.

“Our latest forecast suggests that Brussels hotels should continue performance recovery throughout the remainder of the year,” said Thomas Emanuel, STR’s director of business development. “Following a 16% decline in demand in 2016, we should see an uplift of 15% for 2017 as both tourism and business travel continues to increase. This is assuming, however, that the market does not experience any further security incidents.”