Bright future of Luxury Hotels in Barcelona and Madrid

  • Published by Vedat
According to Jones Lang LaSalle's study on Madrid and Barcelona's hotel market, the luxury segment will have a brighter future in the medium to long-term.
madrid-metropolis-buildingSpain's Hotel Investment Market Outlook

Hotel investment volumes in 2012 registered a total value of approximately €400 million, half of the €800 million registered in 2011. This ends the year-on-year growth that started in 2009.

Over 65% of 2012 investment originated from domestic sources and 35% from European investors. The most important transactions registered this year are the sale of Rafael Barcelona Port and the sale of Barceló Raval, as well as the sale of Holiday Inn Madrid, advised by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Analysing their RevPAR cycle, the JLL investment clock shows a positive situation for both cities which supports growing investor confidence. Barcelona is clearly located in the "Strong Investment Interest" section, and Madrid is following behind, slowly coming out of the "Growing Investment Interest" area.

Luxury – A Golden Opportunity

Jones LangLaSalle has analysed the top luxury hotel sector in Madrid and Barcelona considering the performance that the hospitality and tourism industry have suffered over these exceptional recession years. The selected hotels for this study in Barcelona are: W Barcelona, El Palace Hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Majestic Hotel & Spa, Hotel Claris and Hotel Arts. In Madrid the hotels are: Hotel Ritz, Hotel The Westin Palace, Hotel Gran Meliá Fénix, Hotel Villa Magna, Hotel InterContinental and Hotel Urban.

Barcelona has, for some time now, been positioned as one of the main European tourist destinations within the events and conventions (MICE) segment, as well as the cruise market. Madrid has traditionally been a business destination, due to the presence of both national and international companies. However, over the past few years, there has been a major effort in promoting Madrid as a leisure destination.

In the past decade, hotel supply has experienced strong growth across both cities, with 75% increase in room supply in Barcelona and 85% increase in Madrid.

Tourism demand has also boosted in the same period, with Barcelona experiencing 86% increase in the number of annual visitors, and Madrid 70%. In 2012 Barcelona received 6.3 million visitors, compared to 7.4 million in Madrid. The main difference is that the percentage of international visitors is much larger in Barcelona, representing approximately 80% of total demand and 45% in Madrid.

Trading results of the subject hotels in Barcelona show a fast-paced growth over the last two years, as RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) grew from €176 to €220 (25%) and as hotel demand surpassed local supply.

Figures for the subject hotels in Madrid have followed a different pattern, registering a significant downturn in 2008-2009 (with RevPAR falling by 24%) and recovering in the 2010-2012 period (when RevPAR went up by 10%). The subject properties performed substantially better than the local hotel market, but they have not been able to achieve results compared to their Barcelona counterparts.

From a long-term perspective, the fact that trading figures are currently increasing in Barcelona, together with the fact that significant new openings are not expected in the 5-star segment, suggests that trading figures will continue to move upwards over the next few years.

When it comes to Madrid, a global economic recovery is expected to fuel an increase in activity in the corporate segment. However, Madrid also needs to face the necessity of refurbishing its hotel supply to more modern standards and to attract international luxury brands in order to increase average hotel prices and appeal to tourists featuring a greater purchasing power. On this topic, the recent agreement reached between OHL and Four Seasons to build a new 5-star hotel close to Puerta del Sol, gives some grounds for optimism. All of these, together with the implementation of a policy to promote the city's "out and about" programme with shows, sports,cultureand food experience among others, would definitely position Madrid as a great leisure destination within Europe.

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