The EU Presidency has Led to a 21% Increase in Average Overnight Stays in 4 and 5-Star Hotels in Sofia
The European presidency in the first half of 2018 has led to a 21% increase in average overnight stays in the 4- and 5-star hotels in Sofia, according to a study by Cushman & Wakefield Forton. Data are from the third edition of the Sofia Hotel Benchmark Survey, which is based on a poll among managers of high-class hotels in Sofia and market surveys.
According to him, the unprecedented rise in prices in 2018 compared to a year earlier is mainly due to the increased business and conference activity during the European Presidency. This effect complements the upward trend of the hotel market in Sofia in recent years due to the economic growth and popularization of the city as a tourist destination.
"Last year was part of the ongoing upward trend in the hotel market, which led to a gradual recovery in employment rates and prices after years of economic crisis. Price growth in 2018, however, was a one-time effect of a market-leading event, unparalleled until now. We also see this development in neighboring Romania, which took over the European presidency in early 2019, "said Plamen Bachev, partner and consultant and assessor at Cushman & Wakefield Forton.
Cushman & Wakefield Forton's survey shows that average prices for 5-star hotels in Sofia reached 114 euros last year, with an average of 63 euros for 4-star hotels. In the lower category hotels, however, the price increase was noticeably higher than the five stars. According to Plamen Bachev, however, the market is currently failing to keep the price levels reached in the high-end hotels in 2018, as Sofia can not offer a rich calendar of events and conferences.
Unlike overnight stays, occupancy rates in 4- and 5-star hotels in the capital have risen significantly lower in 2018. Compared to a year ago, an average of 3.1% more nights were recorded, which is comparable to the growth of previous years. According to the study by Cushman & Wakefield Forton, the reason for the lower rise is the increased number of individual trips during the presidency at the expense of group visits.
According to the company's data, the average occupancy in both categories of hotels last year reached 65%.
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