Boutique & Lifestyle Hotels Booming , gli investitori guardano alle suburban location

by Thomas Beyerle, Catella  Research

“Traveling used to be somehow easier.” This thought or sigh may go over some people’s lips in their current planning. Especially since meanwhile the travel and/or vacation planning is focused only indirectly on the supraregional or local choice of the location. “Mountains or sea” is supplemented increasingly also by “city” or “event” and “choice of travel means”. Never before has there been such a choice in the search for recreation, education and adventure or best all together. The travel and thus also the so-called “hospitality market” is booming – globally synchronously. Real estate investors have also become an integral part of this sub-market segment. In the last 5 years, hotel investments have found themselves in a stable 4th place in the analysis of global transaction volumes – after office, residential and retail.

But in this dynamic environment there is one thing that is becoming less and less: the hotel as an investment product as such. Although the development pipelines are very well filled, almost 4535 hotels are currently under construction or in planning in Europe, the increasing market segmentation is progressing. A very heterogeneous offer structure in the magical investment triangle between location – concept – operator has developed and established itself.

In addition to structural drivers such as availability of capital, lot sizes or operator structures, the so-called “experience economy” has proved to be the decisive driving force behind this development:

• Encounters and individual, authentic experiences are increasingly becoming the focus of travel and thus of hotel business models. It is above all encounters with other guests or “locals” that create the experience and turn the guests into “experience travellers”.

• The choice of the hotel, the restaurant or various activities form the access and at the same time the participation in a destination. A completely new way of thinking on the part of the guests and thus also changed demands are reflected in the planning and marketing of various experience possibilities.

• Today, additional tourist services have to be found in every concept. The current guest is also referred to as a “prosumer” – a consumer who places high demands on a certain product.

• Hotels today are very concerned with terms such as authenticity, regionality, flexibility, individual design and the individual feel-good factor.

• This goes hand in hand with the creation of new brands for standard hotel chains, which appear in the form of so-called “boutique” and “lifestyle hotels” and are intended above all to attract a young audience (but also a more mature audience is increasingly accepting these offers).

Well, do you recognise yourself?

The transaction volume in Europe last year was around 23 billion euros, of which Great Britain bears the largest share with a total of 7.68 billion euros. And the trend is rising. Our analysis reveals increased pressure on urban locations, which has already triggered predatory competition and is increasingly bringing suburban areas into the focus of investors.