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Full House for Amsterdam Hotels

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Results from the inaugural HotelBenchmark Survey for Belgium & TheNetherlands by Deloitte & Touche launched last week in Amsterdam reveal thathotels in Amsterdam significantly outperformed their Brussels counterpartsin 2001 with occupancy levels of 80 percent compared to 69 percent inBrussels. Year-to-September 2002 data reveals that Amsterdam hoteliers havemanaged to restrict the downturn in demand with occupancy falling just 1.8percent to reach 79 percent, compared to a 7.3 percent decline in Brusselsto 64 percent.

Julia Felton, travel, tourism & leisure director at Deloitte & Touche comments: ‘The imbalance of supply and demand in the Amsterdam market has helped hoteliers achieve the highest occupancy performance of any city in Europe. With occupancy levels around 80 percent there are few “soft” demand periodsthroughout the year and therefore hoteliers should be looking to push average room rates upwards. In contrast, the Brussels markets continues to suffer the effects of significant new supply built during the 1990’s, andalthough mid-week occupancy levels are good, hotels tend to come under pressure at weekends.’

The survey also reveals the marked difference between the performance of hotels in Amsterdam and that of hotels located in provincial Netherlands. At 67 percent, occupancy levels in the provinces are on average 12 percentage points lower than the city, whilst average room rates are Euro 45lower at Euro 95. This compares starkly with the performance of hotels in Brussels and those in provincial Belgium, where hotels in both markets trade at around 66 percent occupancy. Reflecting the higher grade of hotels in the capital, hotels in Brussels achieve an average room rate some Euro 11better than their provincial counterparts at Euro 103. Interestingly, performance of hotels in the provincial Netherlands closely mirrors that of hotels in both Brussels and provincial Belgium, indicating how the closely linked the pattern of demand is across the two countries.

Hotels in both Amsterdam and Brussels have been impacted by the performanceof the airport locations of Schiphol and Zaventem. At Zaventem the demiseof Sabena airlines has had a significant impact on the number of passenger arrivals resulting in occupancy levels at the airport falling 25 percent to reach 55 percent in the year to September. This compares to an occupancy of73 percent in the prior year. As demand has fallen so have average room rates, which have dropped seven percent to Euro 125. However, hotels at Zaventem still manage to achieve higher average room rates than hotelslocated in central Brussels. Hotels at Schiphol airport have traditionally benefited from overflow demand from hotels in central Amsterdam, but with some spare capacity in the capital this has contributed to occupancy falling by five percent to 74 percent. Ironically, passenger numbers at Schiphol in September 2002 are actually 3.3 percent higher than in September 2000 and this is due primarily to the rapid expansion of low cost carriers such asEasyJet.

Julia Felton added: ‘We are delighted to be able to expand the suite ofHotelBenchmark Surveys to include a country report for Belgium & TheNetherlands. This new monthly survey tracks the performance of some 26,000rooms across the two countries in terms of occupancy, average room rate andrevPAR, making it the most comprehensive and reliable indicator of hotelperformance and trends’.

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