Major hotel chains predicted a good year for Europe with positive signs that business is improving.
Jean Faivre, area director for Paris for Hilton which has five hotels in the city, said at ITB: “We have had a few difficult years particularly due to the US travellers not coming but we see Paris picking up and rates recovering.
“The business traveller is also coming back because business is recovering and Paris is the last destination in Europe which is waiting for a full recovery.
“It happened in Germany last year and we now see it happening in Paris although it will take a few more months.”
Hilton opened its fifth property the luxury Hilton Arc de Triomphe hotel last May where Mr Faivre said business, a mix of business and leisure was good.
Mr Roeland Vos, Starwood Hotels' president EMEA, also speaking at ITB, said confidence was high and his group planned to open 70 new properties in the next two years.
“Things are picking up,” he said. “What you see now is business coming back in Central Europe. The UK has led the push but Italy is hot. Spain went quiet after the bombing and there is still some way to go in Germany but business is coming back.”
Kempinski also reported good business with 16 hotels either opened or to be opened this year including several in Europe.
Sabre signs up Russian agencies
GDS Sabre Travel Network has signed a “bundle deal” with Aeroflot which will enable it to handle the airline's inventory for most of Russia's travel agencies.
A spokesman for the company said the “huge majority” of agents in the country worked through Aeroflot and Sabre would now be handling that business with the airline using the GDS's operational tools, products and services.