During the first two quarters of 2013, 80 hotels were opened in Poland, with the highest number recorded in the Mazowieckie (12 hotels), Wielkopolskie (eight hotels) and Lower Silesia (seven hotels) voivodships.
The Bristol hotel in downtown Warsaw
A majority of the hotels were opened in cities which already have the highest supply of hospitality facilities such as Warsaw, Poznań and Wrocław, all very strong business hubs in Poland. For instance, the 116-room Hampton by Hilton Hotel opened on September 18 at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport.
Data reveal a continuation of the relatively high growth rate experienced in the last couple of years in Poland’s hotel infrastructure. This growth was most visible in 2012, the year UEFA’s European soccer championships where co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine. But hotel construction has hardly slowed since then.
The increase in hotel supply has experts divided as to the future of the hotel business. Alex Kloszewski, head of the hospitality department at Colliers International Poland believes the industry has nothing to fear. “2013 is turning out to be a very good year for most cities. This is a direct effect of Euro 2012’s excellent promotion of Poland.”
There are no major events scheduled in Poland this year that could attract large crowds of foreign visitors, perhaps with the exception of the UN Climate Summit to be held in November in Warsaw. However, according to Mr Kloszewski, 2013 will still be a good year for the industry when it comes to overall occupancies in branded hotels, with an expected drop of 3 to 4 percent in average daily rates compared to last year’s prices.
PMR Research analysts, on the other hand, say 2013 will turn out to be a year of high supply and low demand. Though the second half of the year will bring an economic recovery, which should have some positive influence on the hospitality industry, market growth will not exceed 1 percent year-on-year, PMR analysts stated.
Estimates from the Tourism Institute show that the number of tourists visiting Poland will decrease slightly this year to 14.7 million compared to 14.8 million in 2012. It is worth noting though that the 2012 figure represented an 11 percent year-on-year increase compared to 2011.
No cash shortage
“Polish banks are ready to finance hotel projects with loan-to-value levels at maximum 65 percent and it’s easier to finance projects for budget hotels which can prepare professional feasibility studies,” according to a report published by sector magazine Świat Hoteli.
Source: Poland Research and Forecast 2013
“We see that some banks such as PKO BP, Bank Pekao, BPS, Alior, WBK-Santander and BRE still like our sector, but of course, they will only finance hotel projects that are in the best locations, such as city centers, and have known and experienced global brands,” said Mr Kloszewski.
More guests after 2014
The 2013 decline in foreign visits to Poland will be followed by growth in the following years. The Tourism Institute forecasts that the number of tourists who will visit Poland in 2014 should reach 15 million and will continue to grow by an average of 400,000 each year thereafter.
According to PMR, 2014 should usher in more discernible growth in the industry. “We can probably expect reasonable growth in revenue per available room and occupancy rates in most cities in 2014,” Mr Kloszewski said.
“This will be more noticeable in the second part of the year, due to an expected GDP growth rate of 2.2 to 2.5 percent as well as some of EU infrastructure funds being absorbed in the country. All in all, 2014 will be a good year for the hotel industry in Poland,” Mr Kloszewski added.
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