by Property Forum | Hotel

Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk (Tricity) and Wrocław are among the top ten markets for hotel operators in Central and Eastern Europe and in Southern and Eastern Europe, making Poland the regional leader. Hotel operators are also targeting other regional cities across Poland, says global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.


The firm’s latest report Operator Beat, Hotel Operator Survey, H2 2020 reveals that Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk (Tricity) and Wrocław are thought to be more attractive than other regional capitals such as Sofia, Zagreb or Kyiv. Warsaw comes third after Prague and Budapest. A total of close to 90% of hotel operators are willing to expand in the Polish capital.

More than 80% of operators would also open hotels in Krakow, which made it to the top five of the regional market ranking, and 75% would consider Wrocław and Tricity. Other Polish cities targeted by global operators include Poznań, Lublin and Łódź, which were ranked alongside such cities and tourist destinations as Brasov, Iasi, Lvov, Montenegro’s coast, Odessa, Ostrava, Pecs, Pilsen, Pula, Rijeka, Split, Varna and Kosice.

“Poland has excellent potential to welcome many new global hotel brands as the share of branded hotel rooms is considered to be relatively low in comparison with Western European markets. As well as targeting new projects, operators are also interested in cooperation regarding existing, non-branded facilities. In both cases hotel owners have an opportunity to improve market visibility and revenue growth in this increasingly competitive environment,” says David Nath, Head of Hospitality CEE & SEE, Cushman & Wakefield.

Operator interest in individual markets varies by scale of operations: smaller players focus on the capital cities of the core countries while larger operators also target second and third tier cities in CEE / SEE and holiday destinations.

According to more than 70% of operators, most - if not all - of their projects are running on schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic. A majority of respondents in Cushman & Wakefield’s survey expect the hospitality sector to bounce back in capital cities during 2023-2024. Key regional cities are likely to experience a rebound somewhat sooner and 70% of respondents believe that smaller regional cities, driven by domestic demand, will recover more quickly than capital cities (during 2022-2023).

“Hotel operators are facing strong headwinds in Poland due to government restrictions that have caused a significant loss of business. A lifting of these restrictions would enable them to begin a recovery process. The long-term outlook for the Polish hospitality sector remains positive as Poland is the top destination for operators across the region,” says Łukasz Bondyra, Senior Hospitality Advisor CEE & SEE, Cushman & Wakefield.

The survey included senior executives representing 17 operators who are either present in or looking to enter the CEE / SEE region. The surveyed operators have more than 224 hotels with over 34,000 rooms in CEE / SEE, and another 149 hotels with more than 24,000 rooms in the pipeline.