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Thinking outside the box

The third conference "Spotlight Hotel Investment Poland" is getting closer

InterContinental Warschau Tower exterior bei Nacht  
A landmark of Warsaw: the InterContinental Hotel (left tower).
/ photo: IHG


Warsaw (May 20, 2016). The list of speakers and discussion round participants at the conference "Spotlight Hotel Investment Poland" from 13-14 June at the InterContinental Hotel Warsaw is finally set. Among others, participants will be representatives of the Polish Tourism Organisation, of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, of leading Polish as well as vicinal and global hotel groups (e.g. Orbis, Vienna House, Rezidor, B&B). More than 200 participants will be expected. However, interested parties are still welcome to register.

Also the third edition of the conference is designed for investors, hotel owners, representatives of financing institutions, hotel chains, consultants and real estate brokers, lawyers, architects, developers, government officials, local authorities and tourism organizations.

The conference agenda presents familiar names from previous years, but also new faces. In any case, the mix shows that Poland's hospitality sector is gladly thinking outside the box and is willing to learn from others. Please see the final conference agenda including the names of the speakers and discussion round participants in the attached PDF.

Christie & Co is the conference content partner and consultant. In the following interview, Adam Konieczny, Country Head Poland, describes the current hotel landscape in Poland.

Is tourism in Poland still showing a positive development?

Adam Konieczny: Poland’s popularity among tourists, both foreign and domestic, has been growing and there seems to be no end in sight for this positive trend. Demand and occupancy rates have been on the rise for several years, particularly in Warsaw, the Tri-City area around Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot and Kraków. The main reason of the increase is the growing number of foreign tourists. Other important segments are MICE tourism and medical tourism.

Two examples prove the positive conditions for hotels today: According to STR statistics, the luxury and upper upscale hotel in the top destination Krakow finished the year 2015 with an average occupancy of 84%, a RevPAR of 350 PLN (about 80 euros) and ADR of about 440 PLN (about 100.50 euros). Also the 2015 data for Krakow's midscale und economy hotels are good: Occupancy was 79%, RevPAR 120 PLN (about 27.40 euros) and ADR about 160 PLN (about 36.54 euros).

  Konieczny Adam
  Adam Konieczny,
Country Head Poland
of Christie & Co.

How strong is currently the interest among investors for hotels in Poland?

Adam Konieczny: Though Poland's hotel investment market may still be in its infancy, there are many reasons why large groups of investors are convinced of the country's potential. Factors include the improvement of hotel indicators, the presence of more hotel chains, the enhancement of the country's meeting and conference industry, the improving road and rail infrastructure and, last but not least, favorable property prices in comparison to key European markets such as London, Paris or Munich.

In general, investors are mainly looking for branded, well-established business hotels, while chain-affiliated city centre economy or midscale hotels are proving to be successful. There were a number of notable transactions in 2015, such as Union Investment's acquisition of the Radisson Blu in Wroclaw from UBM Development Group AG, and the acquisition of the Sheraton Warsaw as part of a pan-European portfolio by Benson Elliot and Walton Street Capital.

Most notably, there is rising interest in hotel acquisitions from German, French, British and American investors. Paradoxically, the crisis in Ukraine seems to have had a positive effect on the Polish hotel investment market since those investors who previously planned to put their money in Ukraine and Russia are now withdrawing from those markets and moving west, allocating their capital in countries such as Poland.

While Poland's hotel market is still dominated by the upscale segment and investors are keen to have trophy assets in their portfolios, we have observed a shift in interest from the upscale towards the midscale market and more sustainable hotels. There is also strong potential for investors in the budget sector, as expansion plans in this segment have so far been rather limited. Until recently, the majority of investors was only interested in leases, but now they are increasingly also consider management contracts.

In which Polish cities are hotel markets developing particularly well?

Adam Konieczny: Kraków is probably still the best city for new hotel developments. The market can absorb new supply relatively easy. Warsaw which was perceived as a typical business city is now more popular as a tourist destination, in particular by international tourists. The third interesting market is Tri-city (Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia) with a growing BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) sector and a significant number of Scandinavian tourists.

We also see some rising stars and this list includes Katowice and Lublin. Katowice recently became a strong MICE centre due to its great location and accessibility as well due to the opening of Poland's biggest congress centre. Lublin is currently the most important city in Eastern Poland with a new airport and many new public developments. Lublin is now also a city which inspires business. Click the links for more information on the event, the program and registration. / kn


3rd Spotlight Hotel Investment Poland_Program 2016

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