According to global hotel consultancy HVS, hotels in Düsseldorf, the world's top destination for trade fairs and business conventions, have seen a market bounce in the second half of 2022 in line with Germany's economic growth and the slow return of international and business demand.
The city, which has experienced consistent growth in tourism over the past decade, traditionally benefits from strong corporate and MICE demand with some 1.6 million visitors a year at its peak. However, the city's MICE business was badly hit by the covid pandemic with visitation to Messe Düsseldorf, its main exhibition space, dropping 65% in 2020 and a further 45% in 2021.
However, the second half of 2021 and 2022 saw tourism in Düsseldorf start to recover. While 2022 got off to a slow start, arrivals in April reached 80% of 2019 volume while May and June surpassed 2019 levels. Hotel RevPAR [Rooms Revenue per Available Room] for May, June and August were up to 90% of 2019 levels while occupancy reached 40% in May 2022, with rates rising as demand increased.
"The outlook remains positive as the city's fundamentals are strong owing to its economic and trade activities, although there are some concerns over the potential impact of new supply as it comes on to the market," commented report co-author Charles Carpentier, an associate with HVS London.
HVS research reveals around 3,200 hotel rooms across 13 projects are due to come on stream in Düsseldorf over the next three years, an increase of 18% of existing rooms supply, which could slow the pace of recovery. The research shows a decline in five-star properties with growth focussed on three- and four-star hotels and apartments, which will give the city a total of around 17,600 rooms.
To broaden its seasonality and dependence on MICE demand, Düsseldorf has been promoting its fashion, art and cultural attractions, which should increase its market share of international travel and broaden its seasonality, the report says. This will in turn strengthen the fundamentals for the city as well as maintain the investor interest that has made it one of Germany's core hotel investment destinations.
"While the recovery started in the spring of 2021, Düsseldorf still has some way to go to regain its pre-pandemic attendance levels," commented report co-author Alexander Bock, director, HVS Germany.
"Anecdotal evidence indicates that the number of enquiries for events at hotels keeps increasing so we expect the hosting of larger fairs and conventions to continue to improve over the next year and eventually reach its 2019 levels in the years to come."