PRESS RELEASE – November 27th 2013 Urbanisation and older travellers in focus

Pandox’ Hotel Market Day on demographic changes

The ongoing urbanisation in the developing countries of the world and the change in age structure throughout the world, with a growing part of the population staying healthier and living longer, are the two trends that will have the greatest impact on the hotel industry in the future.

This was the message at Pandox’ Hotel Market Day which was held yesterday at Hilton Stockholm Slussen on the topic of demographic changes.

- Urbanisation in the world’s developing countries, China and India in particular, is the greatest economic force the world has ever seen, said Richard Dobbs, Director at the McKinsey Global Institute. The effects are huge; by 2025, the world’s middle class is expected to double in numbers to 4,2 billion people.

The fact that people can now leave poverty behind and join the consuming class will have a massive impact on the hotel industry. The trend is most obvious in China:

- By 2020, the Asian middle class is expected to triple to 1,7 billion people, said Anders Nissen, CEO at Pandox. They will want to travel. If only 10% choose to travel to Europe and stay for an average of 5 days, that will equal 850 million hotel nights for the hotels in Europe. This is an enormous opportunity for the hotel industry.

Another demographic trend which strongly affects the industry is the changing age structure in the world, with people living increasingly longer and healthier lives.

- ”Baby Boomers”, which consists of the large group of people born in the decade that followed the end of the second world war, have now reached retirement age, stated Tom Savigar of The Future Laboratory. They don’t see themselves as being old, they are healthy and they want to spend their money on travels and experiences.

Magnus Berglund, Director of Accessibility at Scandic Hotels, agreed that older people and people with disabilities are an increasingly important and growing segment of travellers.

- As the global population lives increasingly longer lives, the proportion of people with some form of disability will also increase, he adds, and this is an area where the hotels could make a lot of money.

To conclude, Anders Nissen delivered a hotel industry forcast for 2014 highlighting that:

•   Demand is expected to increase during 2014

•   International markets and segments: increasing demand and higher prices during the first half of the year. Good opportunities for further price increases during the second half.

•   Domestic markets and segments: good opportunities for increased demand. Possible increase in prices towards the end of the year.

•   Strong segments 2014: short stays, leisure and city breaks.

RevPAR prognosis for 2014 as compared to 2013:

•   New York: +5%

•   Montreal: +5%

•   London: +2,5%

•   Amsterdam: +2%

•   Brussels: +3%

•   Berlin: +1%

•   Helsinki: +2%

•   Copenhagen: 2,5%

•   Oslo: -2%

•   Gothenburg: -5%

•   Malmo: 0%

•   Stockholm: +2%

Speakers at the Hotel Market Day:

•   Christian Ringnes, chairman of Pandox: Welcome and introduction

•   Klas Eklund, Senior Economist at SEB, ”The world’s macroeconomic situation is improving, but only slowly”.

•   Richard Dobbs, Director vid McKinsey Global Institue: “Urbanisation of the world’s developing countries is the greatest financial force the world has ever seen”

•   Chris Sanderson, The Future Laboratory: ”Today the focus is on experiences rather than on gadgets. Social networks are taking over as marketing channels”.

•   Tom Savigar, The Future Laboratory: ”How you satisfy the needs of the world’s four age categories of travellers: Baby Boomers (born 1945-1954), Generation Jones (1955-1964), Generation X (1965-1979) och Millennials (1980-1990)”.

•   Lennie Norman, stand-up comedian: ”A stand-up comedian’s hotel memories”.

•   Magnus Berglund, Director of Accessibility at Scandic Hotels, featuring Personal Assistant Dog, Dixie: ”People with disabilities is a large and profitable customer group and a rapidly growing market”.

•   Jörgen Fredriksson, Partner, Världens Resor: ”The demand for experience- and theme-based travel shows tremendous growth and the average age of the traveller is increasing”.

•   Anders Nissen, CEO, Pandox: ”Overall, 2014 looks positive”.

For further information:                                             

Anders Nissen                                                                 Ingrid Löwy
CEO Pandox AB                                                               PA
+46 8 506 205 50                                                              +46 8 506 205 69
+46 708 46 02 02                                                              +46 739 14 15 84