Europe -  Geneva, Switzerland

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Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), with 202,000 people (2019 census) living in an area of 15.9 km². The population of the canton of Geneva in 2019 was 504,000.  The destination is widely regarded as a global city, mainly on account of the presence of numerous international organisations, including the headquarters of many UN agencies (ITC, WHO, UNHRC).

While the economy is focused on the service sector, with a large number of financial institutions – private banks, in particular – the city is also considered a hub for the watch-making industry, with numerous luxury brands headquartered there, as well as being home to major international research and development laboratories. Furthermore, Geneva is the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters of high-tech companies Hewlett-Packard, IBM Microelectronics Division, SUN Microsystems, Oracle and Reuters.

Geneva’s tourism demand is driven mostly by the banking sector, international organisations, multinational headquarters, and numerous trade fairs and conventions which mostly take place at the Palexpo. As a result, Geneva’s tourism is approximately 70% business-related. Around 50% of business tourism is attributable to meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) demand and the other 50% to international organisations. Only 30% of tourism can be defined as purely leisure. The hotel market has historically been unable to successfully capture the Leisure segment during weekends and holidays but nevertheless witnessed a slight increase in volume coupled with minimal increases in supply from 2017 to 2019, with a marketwide average occupancy in the low-70s.

2020 was a very challenging year for the conference and events market in Geneva. Several of the major events in the city, including the Geneva International Motor Show and the Geneva Supercross were cancelled in 2020 and have been again in 2021 (as at May 2021), while the EPHJ Trade Show was cancelled in 2020 but remains scheduled for June 2021. Other events, such as The International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, will be hosted as virtual events in 2021.

Although average rate continues to decrease as a result of the currency dynamics making the country more expensive for foreigners, Geneva’s hotel market still achieves one of the highest average rates in Europe.

Hotel supply for the city and Canton of Geneva has remained stable in recent years, with minor variations related to the reorganisation of some hotels’ inventories and renovation works. As of 2021, the city of Geneva had 87 hotels providing some 7,100 rooms, which is quite substantial given the small size of the city. The market is geared towards the upper end of the spectrum with four- and five-star hotels accounting for more than 60% of the total room inventory.

Over the next few years, several hotels are expected to be welcomed in the market. Among them is a new 261-room Marriott at Geneva Airport, as well as a 250-room Radisson Blu which will be strategically located between the city centre and the airport.

In terms of transactions, Geneva’s hotel market is rather illiquid, mostly due to a lack of sellers, with very few sales taking place in recent years – we are not aware of any transactions taking place in 2020. Overall, Geneva recorded a 13.3% decrease in hotel values as of the end of 2020.

Change In Value For Market: (€Euro)

Legend
Significant Value Increase: Greater than +10%
Moderate Value Increase: Between +3% and +10%
Stable Values: Between -3% and +3%
Moderate Value Decline: Between -3% and -10%
Significant Value Decline: Less than -10%

For more information, please contact:

Sophie Perret, MRICS, MBA
[email protected]
  • +44 20 7878 7722 (w)
Nikola Miljković
[email protected]
  • +44 20 7878-7721 (w)
  • +44 7 593572865 (m)