Welcome to our fourth edition of the joint Cushman & Wakefield–CMS report on the Hotel Investment scene in CEE*: Getting Real about ESG in Hotel Real Estate
In recent years, the hotel sector in CEE has endured a very volatile period. Starting with the pandemic in 2020, followed by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and consequent economic challenges underpinned by the energy crisis and sharp increase in overall inflation. Not surprisingly, this had a detrimental impact on hotel performance and investment activity across the region, as described in this report. However, the hospitality industry is resilient and able to rebound quickly. The recovery is already underway and has surpassed most expectations. Hotels across the CEE region are showing robust performance, already exceeding pre-pandemic levels in many markets. This has attracted the attention of investors, and we are starting to see a rebound in transaction activity despite the high cost of financing and the ongoing economic and geopolitical challenges. Investors are attracted by the anti-inflationary nature of hotel real estate and the long-term growth potential in the tourism sector in CEE.
To protect and maximise the value of their assets, investors will need to address the challenges and opportunities associated with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. In this report, we examine the benefits of implementing ESG best practices in hotels, such as increasing revenue, reducing costs, enhancing value and driving innovation. We also showcase some examples of hotels in the CEE region that have achieved high ESG standards and certifications. Furthermore, we outline the main ESG regulations and initiatives that affect the hospitality sector in the EU, such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the EU Taxonomy, the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) and its successor the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and the proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). We also provide some practical guidance on incorporating ESG clauses into hotel operating agreements.
*CEE-6 countries comprise the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria