In this roundup of news from Europe: year-over-year hotel construction sees spike; KSL makes its first significant foray into the continent; PSD2 require hoteliers’ attention; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. This week’s compilation covers Europe.
STR: Europe hotel construction up 52.4% in July
Hotel pipeline data for Europe showed 1,504 projects accounting for 192,352 rooms in construction as of July 2019, according to data from STR, the parent company of Hotel News Now and which represented a 52.4% year-over-year increase in the number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline.
A majority of the region’s rooms in construction are in three segments. Of those three, unaffiliated projects represented the largest percentage increase (+100.3%) in activity year over year, while upscale represented 41,143 rooms (+37.4%) and upper midscale represented 31,739 rooms (+34.1%). The usual suspects led the numbers, with Germany having a pipeline of 52,704 rooms (7.9% of existing supply) and the United Kingdom (42,260 rooms; 6.3% of existing supply).
KSL makes first major Europe acquisition
Denver-based KSL Capital Partners has acquired Challes-les-Eaux, France-based hotel firm Les Hôtels d’en Haut from developer Perseus Group for an undisclosed amount.
The five-asset boutique chain is KSL’s first portfolio acquisition in continental Europe. Eric Darde, formerly COO, will lead the company as president and CEO. In total, the hotels comprise 245 rooms.
PSD2 rules on payments require hotelier attention
Just as hoteliers globally have come to terms with General Data Protection Regulations, which came into law 18 or so months ago, a new European Union directive will come into the business world on 14 September. Payment Services Directive regulations, known as PSD2, have been designed to cut down on fraud in terms of credit-card use and other electronic payments, writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.
Carl Weldon, COO, Europe at Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, said the new regulations also are stricter about storing of payment information, saying “credit-card information now has to be held securely—not in an Excel sheet spreadsheet, but under a security veil or tokenization.”
Airbnb ‘host’ fined £100K for illegal London rental
An Airbnb host in London who rented out his home, which he himself was renting, has been fined £100,000 ($121,400). The apartment was rented out in a false name and without the permission of owner Westminster Council.
It took the law some time to catch up with the perpetrator, who started renting the unit out in 2013 and received more than 300 reviews. It was one of those reviews, which mentioned the host’s name that was the perpetrator’s undoing. Airbnb said it reminded its hosts to always abide by local laws.
Hilton expands in Europe with 70-asset Hampton deal
Hilton and Bahraini franchisee Alshaya Group have signed a deal to open 70 Hampton by Hilton hotels in nine countries across Europe and the Middle East, the first being a hotel in Kuwait set to open in 2021. The first 50 of the properties will open within the next eight years.
Deals and developments
- Yotel opened its first city-center European property, the 276-key Yotel Edinburgh in the city’s Stockbridge neighborhood. The hotel is the first of five European Yotel assets to open within the next nine months or so.
- InterContinental Hotels Group has opened its third Hotel Indigo hotel in Italy with the 75-room Hotel Indigo Milan-Corso Monforte;
- U.K.-based Starboard Hotels has announced its new managing director as Keith Griffiths, following the announcement that founder and current MD Paul Callingham is to assume the chairman’s role. The firm owns 20 U.K. hotels, with one in the pipeline;
- Fairtree International, on behalf of a private investor, has bought the 30-room Rothay Garden Hotel & Riverside Spa, which marks the first time the asset in England’s Lake District has been sold for 30 years. Former owner Chris Carss hands over operation to Providence Hospitality, which manages nine hotels in the U.K. and 17 in total;
- Radisson Hotel Group and Polish developer and operator Zdrojowa Invest & Hotels Group have signed a deal to build and open two assets in Poland, the 104-room Radisson Resort Szklarska Poręba and 209-room Radisson Resort Kołobrzeg.
Compiled by Terence Baker.