Soccer frenzy spurs German hotels, but wider economy still sluggish


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Fans in Berlin gather at a fan zone to watch Germany v Scotland - Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany - June 14, 2024 General view of Germany fans in the fan park ahead of the match REUTERS/Liesa Johannssen/File Photo

(Reuters) - Hotel chains in Germany are experiencing roaring business thanks to the European Championship, but the economy as a whole is unlikely to receive a strong boost according to the Ifo institute.

"The European Championship in Germany is providing fantastic impetus and are having a positive impact on our hotels," Jan Peter van der Ree, area vice president for Germany at Hyatt told Reuters.

The revenue of the American multinational's hotels in host cities such as Berlin, Munich and Cologne has increased by up to 28% compared to the same period in 2023, with the majority of fans hanging around not just for the games but also to visit cities, he added.

H-Hotels, a group that manages 50 hotels in its core German market, is experiencing a similar football boost, its spokesperson told Reuters.

The chain, which is hosting France and defending champion Italy in its Leipzig hotel, says that the average room rate per night is around one-third higher on a yearly basis in cities that are hosting the tournament.

Comments from a spokesperson for Lindner, another hospitality group managing tens of hotels in Germany, follow this trend as the company is seeing its rooms almost sold out in host cities.

"In general, the European Championships have a positive impact on the key figures in June, which are definitely higher than last year," the spokesperson added in her response to Reuters.

NOT QUITE THE FAIRY TALE

Still the Ifo institute has said Germany hosting its first major football championship since the 2006 World Cup is unlikely to provide a big hoped-for boost to wider economic consumption.

According to the institute, the impact has yet to show up at all in this month's figures from its monthly survey of 9,000 companies. It has previously said the impact, when it does arrive in the statistics, is likely to be limited.

"There is no major European Championship effect," Ifo expert Klaus Wohlrabe told Reuters on Monday about the institute's survey. "The German economy still has to wait for its summer fairy tale."

While hotels are relatively satisfied with their business, dissatisfaction is more likely to be seen in the catering industry.

Although inflation has fallen significantly and real wages have recently risen, consumers seem to be holding back and private demand is still not picking up, he added.

(Reporting by Paolo Laudani, additional reporting by Marleen Käsebier and René Wagner)

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