EDC Poul Erik Bech continues to ride the hotel wave: Hotels, inns, conference centres, holiday centres, hostels, and camping are moving – also on the investment front

Danish tourism is experiencing a boom after corona. Danish hotels and holiday centres, in particular, can look forward to significantly more guests with a record number of overnight stays in Denmark in 2023. This affects the appetite for investment, where EDC Poul Erik Bech is experiencing great demand and attention in the hotel area, most recently with the sale of Hornbæk Hospital, which is to be transformed into a luxury beach hotel. This has resulted in the creation of a dedicated hotel group, which provides an even more structured advisory and sales process in the hotel area.

In the first half of 2023, we experienced the highest number of Danish hotel night stays ever. According to Statistics Denmark, there were 16.5 million overnight stays in hotels, holiday centres, hostels, campsites, and marinas in the period. This is an increase of 1.1 million compared to the first half of 2022. The hotels accounted for more than half of the total overnight stays, with foreigners, in particular, driving the development – although the Asian travellers, in particular, have not yet returned after Corona.

Stephen Berthelsen, partner at EDC Poul Erik Bech North Zealand, says, “According to HORESTA, there will be around 60,000 hotel rooms in Denmark in 2024, which is a doubling in just 20 years. This corresponds to almost 1,000 hotels, inns, and conference centres in Denmark, making it a large investment area. Right now, EDC Poul Erik Bech has several hotels for sale for a total amount of around DKK 300 million, and in the entire EDC Group, the figure is naturally higher. We have sold hotels, campsites, conference centres, and building rights for around the same amount after Corona, and we always have several cases on the shelves, so we definitely feel that the hotel area is taking up more and more space.”

Tourism is indeed a growing area in the aftermath of Corona. Stephen Berthelsen says the following, “We have the consulting skills, data, and experience to help our customers evaluate, set prices, and sell hotels. At EDC Poul Erik Bech, we have chosen to do more and have established a nationwide hotel group with representatives from many of our 19 commercial centres as well as our Capital Markets, Large Customers, and international department. This gives us a unique place in the market for our customers, so if you are looking to invest in or sell hotels, we can deliver a highly tested and structured advisory and sales process.”

Unique business area requires unique knowledge
According to Stephen Berthelsen, it requires unique knowledge when communicating the sale of a unique business area. He learned this in connection with the sale of Hornbæk Hospital in the second quarter of 2023:

“Tourism is quite a unique business area and it requires unique knowledge and insight when selling hotels, holiday resorts, campsites, etc. In connection with the sale of Hornbæk Hospital, we prepared a more streamlined and detailed approach and process than before, which gave us good and useful experience in the field. We are strong in the advisory part, and have built up an extremely useful transaction and reference database, which we can use to assess and price hotels, holiday resorts, etc.”

“We collaborate with Aart and Mangor &Nagel in the architectural area, Mazanti Andersen in the legal area and Beierholm in the audit area, so in this way we are well covered and can help clients all the way around, which probably makes the process as easy and smooth as possible,” says Stephen Berthelsen.

“In addition to Hornbæk Hospital, which really helped put us on the map as hotel brokers, I would also like to highlight Kobæk Strand Conference Center and Hotel Antvorskov on West Zealand. In addition, we have got Havreholm Castle and another large hotel in North Zealand, where the seller wishes to remain anonymous, for sale, so we are riding the hotel wave to a great extent.”

It is not just hotels that are moving in Denmark. According to HORESTA, the Danish campsites also had a turnover of almost DKK 10 billion last year. In the summer of 2023, EDC Poul Erik Bech sold one of Europe’s best motorhome pitches on Rømø, which was offered for DKK 34 million and has received top marks in several international media. Among others, we currently have Egelund Camping in Hjørring for sale for DKK 15 million.

The bottom line is growing for hotels

A new member survey on the hotels’ financial situation from the industry association HORESTA shows that 2022 was a reasonable year for the Danish hotel industry. Almost 60% answer that the bottom line grew last year compared to 2019. At the same time, only 17% answer that the bottom line has shrunk. There are increasing bottom lines all over the country, but especially hotels outside Copenhagen have experienced a positive development. 29% respond that the bottom line has improved significantly compared to 2019, while this applies to 10% of the hotels in Copenhagen.

The hotels in Copenhagen are more optimistic than the rest of the country compared to last year. 81% respond that they expect a significantly improved or improved bottom line when closing the accounts. The figure is 33% of hotels outside Copenhagen. The hotels also respond that they assess their overall financial situation as positive. Across all hotels, 55% respond that their financial situation is positive, while 19% rate it as very positive. Only 8% respond negatively or very negatively.

For sale: Hotels, restaurants, cafes etc.
DKK 65 million. Investment. Havreholm Slot, 3,100 m²
DKK 40 million. Investment. Hotel- Spa & Sea bath in North Zealand
DKK 36.95 million Investment, 2,810 m². Danmarksgade 62A, 9900 Frederikshavn
DKK 25 million Investment, 417 m². Havnevej 3, Holbæk
DKK 22 million Company, 2,402 m². Skovvej 45-46, Kerteminde
DKK 17.5 million User property, 2,400 m². Newly renovated and modern hotel Torvet 8, Gråsten
DKK 15 million Investment, 2,386 m². Rubjergvej 21, Egelund Camping, Hjørring
DKK 14.95 million User property, 510 m², Haderslevvej 462, 6200 Aabenraa
DKK 12 million User property, 1,050 m², Sct. Laurentii Vej 54, Skagen
DKK 11.5 million User property (restaurant/cafe), 968 m², Lakolk Butikscenter 7, Rømø
DKK 10.75 million Investment – 291 m², Havnevej 14A, B & C, Skagen

10 hotel trends in Denmark

  1. Sustainability and recycling: Increased focus on sustainability in practice, processes, products, and materials. Like many other industries, hotels’ access to loans and financing will depend on whether they do enough and report sufficiently on the ESG front.
  2. Hotel apartments: Stay, CABINN Apartments & Zoku. Mini apartments with own kitchen and storage room.
  3. Multifunctionality: Increasing trend to mix hotels with residential, office, retail, F&B, and serviced apartments.
  4. High demand and competition for labour: Retention and recruitment of employees. Very low unemployment at home.
  5. Bleisure (business + pleasure): Today’s business travellers increasingly mix business with some leisure and vice versa. Business trips are often extended before or after, and friends and family come along for the journey. The trend is particularly popular among the younger generations on the labour market.
  6. Affordable luxury: Competitive prices and high quality. Focus on large common spaces that encourage socializing with other hotel guests.
  7. Club atmosphere, spa, and wellness experiences: Many demand a unique and extraordinary atmosphere where you feel at home and pampered at a high-quality level.
  8. Capsule hotels or cabin hotels: Type of hotel developed in Japan which consists of a lot of very small rooms (capsules or sleeping cabins) that serve as cheap and basic accommodation for guests who do not require the same standard as in more conventional hotels. They are becoming more popular with travellers looking for less expensive accommodations that still offer a private/enclosed bed and basic amenities.
  9. Entertainment, cinema, Joint cooking for connoisseurs: Different approaches to planning common meals with, e.g., communal gas stove, allows it to create special forms of communities that support special forms of social relations. Communal eating is healthy, new British research shows.

Digitization: More and more processes are being digitized to improve efficiency and give customers a choice and an overview. This is everything from booking hotel rooms, restaurant menus, bar booking, laundry etc.

Stephen Berthelsen

Partner, erhvervschef, ejd.mægler og Valuar, MRICS Registered Valuer, MDE
Phone: +45 58587850
Mobile: +45 21732803
E-mail: stbe@edc.dk