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Hotels and Investments: Europe is recovering, led by Spain. What about Italy?

A study by Colliers Benelux provides a snapshot of the recovery on the Old Continent. The focus is on seven countries, including Italy, which is showing signs of recovery, but not enough for its potential.

 

Signs of a recovery for hotels in Europe in 2021, with investments of almost €17 billion, €5 billion more than in the previous year. Spain has not only recovered, it surpassed the levels of 2019. What about Italy? Its numbers are starting to rise, but Italy’s tourism potential deserves a higher spot in the rankings. Is Italy ready to lead the market?

According to a recent report by Colliers Benelux, in 2021 investments in the hotel market in Europe reached €16.9 billion. This recovery has not yet reached its peak, considering that in 2020 it amounted to €11.8 billion, down sharply from €27 billion in 2019. Last year there were 802 transactions, 266 more than in 2020, but in any event fewer than prior to the pandemic, when changes of ownership exceeded 900.

 

The report analyses seven countries in which Colliers is present: Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Spain. The picture that emerges differs considerably between regions. In Great Britain, the decline in transactions was more modest in 2020, “just” -32%, whereas in Europe they plummeted by 55%.

In 2019, the rankings of the seven countries in terms of investment volumes were led by Germany at over €5 billion, followed by the United Kingdom (€4.7 billion) and Italy (approximately €3 billion). Then came the pandemic, with Italy recording one of the most significant declines: -75%. In 2021, with the recovery, the situation changed. Great Britain almost reached the levels of two years earlier, taking the lead at €4.3 billion, followed by Spain (€3.1 billion), which surpassed the levels of 2019, reporting an impressive +26%. Italy fell a spot in the rankings, behind Germany, at €1.6 billion.

In 2021 investments in hotels in Italy doubled compared to 2020, but these were still half the figure of two years earlier. However, these figures should be viewed not as discouraging, but as an invitation to focus on new solutions and opportunities in a country whose artistic heritage and coasts make it a natural destination for international tourism.

The European teams at Colliers dedicated to hotels are registering increasingly strong interest in the hospitality sector now that the measures to combat the pandemic are gradually being eased. Investors are starting to see new opportunities in a changing scenario. They have set their sights on hotels in prime locations or in locations that performed well before or during the pandemic.

This description fits many hotels and locations in Italy, the ideal scenario for investments to roar back. There is no shortage of customers and it is not a question of potential alone. Leisure is leading the way and the recent long Easter weekend confirmed that the sector is recovering.

The return of tourists is likely to accelerate investments and Italy will be the place to be, more than ever.


Related Experts

Marco Comensoli

Head of Hotels & Leisure | Italy

Milan

Responsible for advisory and transactional services for the Hotels & Leisure department in Italy, he helps investors in improving the performance of their hotels portfolio and searching (and creating) new hospitality opportunities.

In his previous roles in Italy, he was the Country Director for Luxury Hotel Partners Ltd, a company specialised in luxury hotel consulting and earlier Senior Hospitality Consultant for Advisor Hotels & Tourism working with a number of high profile, international luxury hotel companies and independent properties. In Dubai, as Group Development Director for the hospitality division of Zabeel Investments, he was in charge of expanding the group’s portfolio.

A graduate of the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland, Marco has worked operationally at a number of international properties including the Boca Raton Resort and Club in the US and Hotel Saratz in Switzerland.

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Sara Bindo

Hotels & Leisure

Milan

Sara Bindo joined Colliers Italia in 2017, initially as Research Analyst in the Research Department, participating in numerous projects on the Rome office market and the hotel asset class.

From 2018 onwards, she joined the Hotels & Leisure team at Colliers Rome office. Her expertise predominantly focuses on the Hospitality sector, and in the area of Advisory in particular.

Before embarking on her professional career in real estate, she obtained a PhD in Planning at Rome’s Sapienza University and subsequently specialised further with a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Management from the Milan Polytechnic.

 

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