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German hotels reward fans who book early

07 July 2005

German hotels will get a welcome boost to business in June and July next year when the football World Cup attracts thousands of visitors over a six-week period.

Fans will benefit from inexpensive hotel rooms, thanks to a deal put together by an accommodation services consortium headed by hotel giant Accor.

It has allocated 50,000 bedrooms in 500 hotels near the 12 football grounds in Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Hanover, Kaiserslautern, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Nurnberg and Stuttgart.

Prices have been set at 2003 levels, plus 2% inflation for each year from then, encouraging fans to book early to get the best deals.

Although the German hotel market has shown signs of recovery since the second half of 2003 and occupancy levels are similar to other major European destinations, rack rates remain relatively low compared with cities such as London, Paris, Rome, Edinburgh and Dublin.

This is because of the intense competition for business between Germany's 10 biggest cities, said Jakob Forstnig, senior associate at hospitality consultant HVS International.

In addition, cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne already suffer from a glut of hotels and Munich is fast approaching saturation.
Forstnig said the fixed prices during the World Cup would still be higher than the summer norm.

"The World Cup will provide a short-term boost and will provide the opportunity to encourage guests to return to the cities, but it will not solve their long-term problems," he added.

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