©Reuters. Hotel investment will grow in 2022 despite the war, according to experts
Barcelona, March 19 (.).- Hotel investment will continue to increase this year in Spain, exceeding 3,200 million euros in 2021, and may even become a “refuge sector” in the long term in the face of the current inflationary scenario and despite the instability created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The president of the Hotusa Group, Amancio López, and the president of CBRE Spain, Adolfo Ramírez-Escudero, commented in an interview with Efe on the good prospects that the sector maintains for the time being.
López has mentioned the “paradox” that the sector has experienced, that while its income statements were “devastated” by the pandemic, it had to live with an “investor appetite” and even a “resistance” to the sale of assets.
Despite the unknowns generated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the president of Hotusa believes that nobody questions that the sector is going to be maintained and is even going to see increased investments, with the prudence that requires not knowing the scope and the duration of the conflict.
In addition, he explained that the impact of the war on tourism was quite “strong” the first 15 days, but that later it has begun to lessen and he hopes “it will continue in that direction”, while acknowledging that, in these circumstances, it is very difficult to forecast.
For his part, Ramírez-Escudero has confirmed that, at this time, there are no changes in the forecasts with which the sector works or in decision-making and that, even this week, operations have been closed normally.
For Amancio López, the real estate sector and more specifically the hotel sector can be seen as a sector of the future, “a refuge sector”, in a context of high inflation, which encourages investments with less risk.
The president of CBRE Spain also agrees with this, explaining that in a context of higher inflation, investors can seek to invest in assets that generate long-term income and that have a certain protection against price increases.
Despite the crisis caused by the pandemic, the president of Hotusa has assured that the prices of high-end hotels have not fallen, since investments are increasingly geared towards quality products.
“In an increasingly competitive world, we find customers who are willing to pay for a more unique or luxury product”, he indicated, adding that, although there is a part of the population that has had a very bad time with the pandemic, there are people who have “been able to save more” and have more spending potential, in addition to those who, after having lived through this situation, think that money is there to enjoy it.
Both experts agree that the hotel sector is facing important changes related to the acceleration of digitization and sustainability.
Thus, Amancio López sees a good opportunity to invest in the renewal of vacation tourist destinations under sustainable criteria.
At the same time, he considers that digitization, which favors teleworking, among other things, will boost investment in smaller cities and will contribute to bringing depopulated Spain “back to life”.
The president of CBRE Spain also believes that consumers are increasingly looking for more “genuine and authentic” experiences, which opens the possibility of establishing new types of hotels and collaboration formats between investors and operators.
Ramírez-Escudero also points out that digitization is influencing consumer behavior and the appearance of new hotel formats and models such as ‘coworking’ or ‘coliving’.
Precisely, all these new trends will be discussed next Monday at the second edition of the Spanish Host-In hotel investment forum, organized by Grupo Hotusa and CBRE.
The forum will bring together some 350 professionals from different countries linked to the real estate and hotel sector in Madrid to discuss issues such as the recovery of the European market, the challenges of the Iberian market and the evolution of the sector.
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