Large international hotel chains are expanding worldwide but have so far not seen a big market push in Scandinavia. Hilton has only four hotels, Marriott three, Starwood and InterContinental just one each. Accor and Rezidor are more firmly present in the Nordic region, although Accor pulled out of Denmark in 2005, while the rest of the market is dominated by home-grown chains like Scandic, followed by First Hotels and Arp Hansen. When travelling within the region, Scandinavians tend to stay loyal to Scandinavian chains.
But, according to HotelNewsNow, international chains are reassessing the Nordic countries, largely because of the consistency in demand over time. Also the number of foreign guests, who recognise international brands, is increasing. The number of foreign-guest overnights in Copenhagen has jumped 21.5% since 2005 to reach 65% of the total.
Accor is reconsidering the Danish market, while Hilton is looking to expand its midscale brand Garden Inn by Hilton and economy brand Hampton Inn. Other players with sights set on Scandinavia include Louvre Hotels, Steigenberger Hotels, Grand City Hotels and NH Hoteles. But it remains to be seen whether all these international chains leap into the Scandinavian market, which mainly has hotels that are lease-driven rather than under management or franchise agreements.
[photo courtesy IHG]