Barcelona has become the main target for international hotel groups. With 9,150 accommodation places in luxury hotels, the city of Barcelona exceeds the total number of places available in other capitals of Europe.
The city is now a desired destination for internationally recognized hotel groups. However, the current restriction on the grant of hotel construction licences affects more than 40 establishments, 8 of which are luxury and 5-star projects. Regardless of this complicated situation, the potential for high standing establishments in Barcelona is higher than in other international capitals.
Barcelona represents 13% of the total available accommodation places in 5-star hotels, whereas London reaches 10% and Paris 7.5%. According to a research carried on by Aguirre Newman on the 2014 market in the three capitals, Barcelona is leader within the high standard hotel industry.
The consultancy says that among a total of 70,000 accommodation places in Barcelona, distributed into 578 hotel establishments, 9,150 were in luxury 5-star hotels. London followed Barcelona with 11,869 accommodation places, although just one out of 10 places were luxury, whereas Paris was the last of these three capitals with 5,963 places.
Generally speaking, hotel investment has been on the rise in Spain. Between January and June, 2015, the increase of this type of investment has reached 1,000 million Euros. It represents a 40% rise, a figure also unveiled by JLL Consultancy.
Among all the Spanish capitals, Barcelona is the one that is best facing the recovery. The city does not only improves in investment but is also above the profitability average before the crisis by 0.7 points.
In the period between 2011 and 2014, investment in 5-star hotels reached just 1%, while those in 4-star establishments increased up to 12%. The little attention given to high standard hotels will result in this sector being the one showing a greater development in the following years, according to BRIC Consulting.
Barcelona, a tourist city
The city of Barcelona shows the greatest tourist spending rate in Spain and represents the third most attractive destination for large international funds, after the British and French capitals. London and Paris are their main competitors, despite of the large difference as regards the number of people who are accommodating.
In 2014, this figure favored London (57 million overnight stays), followed by Paris (36 million) and Barcelona (17 million).
Barcelona being the capital with the greatest offer of luxury hotels, investment is much more likely to be attracted than in the other capitals. Therefore, the large hotel groups already in the city do not hesitate at the time of expanding the number of beds in exclusive locations, whereas those who are not yet in the business wish they could be there soon.
Hotels in Barcelona, especially high standard ones, have become the most attractive sector for international investors thanks to the high profitability of their real estate properties in Barcelona.
Consequences of the restrictions on licenses
The recent implementation of restrictions on the grant of licenses has affected 8 luxury hotels, focused on breaking with the tourist concentration in the center of the city. Their projects located in Plaça de Glòries and on Diagonal Avenue are aimed at attracting visitors to new places of interest.
One of the first one to overcome those restrictions has been the project of the Hyatt Group for the Agbar Tower that will finally be completed in 2017. Another important project will be the transformation of the Deutsche Bank building on Diagonal Avenue and Passeig de Gràcia.
Four Seasons Group wants to turn it into a huge high standing hotel. Moreover, there are also new luxury hotels, to which the restrictions do no apply due to the fact that they already hold a license or because they involve a rehabilitation of a building that used to be a hotel. This is the case of the Soho Group and its luxury establishment in Plaça Duque de Medinaceli and The Wittmore Group on Via Laietana.
There are many investment projects in hotels that are waiting until the annual restriction ends so that they are able to resume work and make the luxury sector in Barcelona go up.
In front of them, there are large projects of luxury apartments, such as Winterthur building in Plaça Francesc Macià, Casa Burés on Girona Street and Telefónica building on Avenida Roma.