Terrorism is biggest threat to European hotel market, says expert panel

Terrorism is the biggest threat to the European hotel market in 2017, dwarfing concerns over US President Donald Trump and Brexit, according to a survey of industry leaders.

James Salford, co-head of Addleshaw Goddard's hotel team
James Salford, co-head of Addleshaw Goddard's hotel team

The law firm Addleshaw Goddard’s annual hotels seminar included a survey of more than 70 senior figures from the hotel industry, to find out their hopes and fears for this year. Fifty per cent of the respondents said terrorism was the biggest threat to Europe’s hotel market, compared with just 16.22 per cent who said Brexit was the biggest threat.

Just 6.76 per cent of respondents believed that Trump’s presidency posed the most significant threat to the sector.

The study also found that London’s hotel market has plenty to contend with. Concerns were expressed about security and the impact of Brexit. There were, however, some positive trends on the horizon.

James Salford, the co-head of Addleshaw Goddard’s hotel team, commented: “It was encouraging to hear that almost two thirds of those polled at the seminar thought hotel development in London had ‘definitely not’ or ‘probably not’ reached saturation point.

“This is certainly great news for our practice and also reflective of what we are seeing in terms of our deal flow activity.”

The seminar was chaired by Patrick Whyte, UK Editor at Skift, and included Philip Lassman from Intercontinental Hotels Group, Asli Kutlucan from Cycas Hospitality, Giles Furze from Savills UK, Jon Colley from International Hotel Properties and Tim Helliwell from Barclays Bank.

Scotland is attracting lots of interest, with 20 per cent of the attendees identifying Edinburgh as the most likely top performer for 2017 in terms of RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth, when compared with other UK cities. Sixty six per cent of the attendees said they believed that London would ‘definitely’ or ‘quite possibly’ be more resilient to a terrorist attack than Paris and Brussels have been. Seven per cent of respondents believed there were too many “non-hotel” specialised lenders in the market.