Whilst the circumstances are different, data from STR Global, the leading provider of market information to the world’s hotel industry, shows that Germany’s hoteliers might be holding their nerve more than in the previous recession.The last German recession, defined as two or more consecutive quarters of declining Gross Domestic Product (GDP), occurred between the last quarter of 2002 and continued until the second quarter of 2003. Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a measure of hotel operating performance, was already falling well before this as external factors such as 9/11, the Iraq War and SARS took effect. That reality saw 11 consecutive falls in RevPAR from the third quarter 2001 until the first quarter of 2004. The seasonally adjusted quarterly RevPAR data in the chart below is drawn from a sample of over 800 hotels across Germany that consistently provide data to both STR Global and their joint venture partner in Germany, Fairmas.
This time around, with the current German recession beginning in the second half of 2008, the quarter-on-quarter RevPAR change has lagged the general economic data by six months. “Perhaps with better market information, hoteliers have been able to make stronger revenue management decisions than in the past,” said James Chappell, Managing Director of STR Global. “The question now is will it take three quarters of positive GDP growth before RevPAR growth recovers as it did in 2004? Of course fundamental to this is the end of the current recession.”
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