Europe -  Geneva

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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 was 504,000 in 2019. 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 the 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 both 2020 and 2021. However, the EPHJ Trade Show was cancelled in 2020, but took place in September 2021 and VitaFoods Europe in October 2021. Nonetheless, other events such as The International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva were hosted as virtual events in 2021.

Hotel supply for the city and Canton of Geneva has remained stable in recent years, with minor variations related to renovation works and the reorganisation of some hotels’ inventories. As of 2022, the city of Geneva had 87 hotels providing some 7,300 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, around 1,200 branded rooms are expected to be welcomed in the market. Among them are the 250-room Radisson Blu, a 270-room InterCity Hotel and a 221-room Ruby Hotel – all scheduled for 2022. There is also a number of serviced apartment brands entering the city. Residence Inn, Adina Apartment Hotels and Stay KooooK (SV Hotel’s own brand) will all mark their first property and take advantage of the extremely low residential vacancy rate in Geneva.

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 – in 2021, we are aware of three hotel assets transacting (the ibis Styles Geneva Gare and the ibis Styles Geneva Mont Blanc (undisclosed transaction price) as well as the Hotel des Alpes (28 units at a sales price of SFr11 million).

Overall, Geneva recorded a 4.9% increase in hotel values as of the end of 2021.

Change In Value For Market: (€Euro)

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: More than -10%

For more information, please contact:

Sophie Perret, MRICS, MBA
Senior Director
[email protected]
  • +44 20 7878 7722 (w)
  • +44 0 7725781037 (m)