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LONDON-Amsterdam is top of the European hotel league according to a surveypublished today by accountant PKF. The firm’s City Survey 2001, backedby investment bank Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, has analysedperformance of 548 hotels in 53 cities throughout Europe, the MiddleEast, Africa and South Asia.

Amsterdam topped the European league in terms of room occupancy androoms yield growth thanks to the huge influx of tourists arriving towatch the Euro 2000 soccer championship. Five European cities achievedover 80% room occupancy rate with Amsterdam at 83.5%, Copenhagen closebehind with 81.4% then Zurich, 81%; London, 80.8%; and Barcelona at80.6%. A decade ago Berlin occupied top spot with 73.2% illustrating thescale of improvement.

Melvin Gold, managing director of hotel consultancy services at PKF,says, ‘The millennium year was a great one for the European hotel sectorwith 16 cities enjoying double digit increases in rooms yield. Theseresults show that Europe is still on an upward cycle.’

Big sporting events helped boost performance in a number of locationsapart from Amsterdam. Brussels also benefited hugely from the Euro 2000soccer while Barcelona and Athens both enjoyed post- and pre-Olympicsuccess as occupancy rates soared. Even Manchester, host to the 2002Commonwealth Games, saw its room yield leap by 9.1%, the highest growthin the UK.

There were some disappointments. Rome was expected to benefit fromthe religious significance of 2000 anticipating some 30 million pilgrims andtourists, although only 25 million visitors came. St Petersburg, Moscow andWarsaw were the only major European cities where occupancy rate fellbelow 60%.

There is also gathering evidence that US economic downturn isstarting to affect business. Max Dolding, head of Pan European Leisure &Hotels at Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, says, ‘The future of the USeconomy is uppermost in all minds at present. London hotels have shownquite severe weakness as we enter summer 2001 while the German economyhas also slowed significantly.

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