Hotels in Austria

19 Motley Real Estate Ideas in Times of COVID-19 - (The Last) Part VI - Hospitality and Special Purpose Properties

By Peter Fassl and Helmut Seitz, HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH

It seems as if the world is slowly realising that we are ultimately living through a long-term pandemic with an admittedly dangerous virus and things are starting to normalise. From our point of view, in countries like Sweden, which have put their faith in personal responsibility, accepting the risk that is inherent in every life, namely that one is mortal and could die at any time, things are returning to normal much sooner. It will be interesting to see how things develop in Australia or New Zealand, where a zero-Covid strategy has been pursued. In Australia, in particular, there has been barely any tourism – other than domestic – for close to two years now. While in the DACH region, many hotels have been closed for close to half of the time in the last 18 months, in Australia and New Zealand they have been open almost throughout the entire time of the Covid pandemic.

While the hoteliers in the DACH region were supported by public funds, this was not the case on the southern side of the globe where hoteliers had to "digest" the absence of the normally numerous tourists themselves. These two completely different approaches could now be used to draw lessons from the respective other to plan and evaluate next steps ahead. As we see it, two trends can be identified. The legal and factual impossibility or impracticability of international travel generally leads to more domestic tourism. As far as non-touristic trips are concerned, such as business trips or short-term trips for unavoidable reasons, one needs an alternative offer to the classic hotel industry when it is closed.

The short-term lease of living space, especially in economically significant regions, is an exciting opportunity for property owners. During a pandemic, however, there are a few things to keep in mind: The more commercial platforms such as AirBnb or VRBO become, and the more openly they compete with the classic hotel industry, they will increasingly have to tie in with the latter's requirements (fire protection and other business regulations, taxes, etc.). Since the rent per square metre to be achieved in short-term rentals is of course much higher than in classic long-term rentals, one will probably have to invest much more in equipment and service in the future – for example, for items such as manual or ongoing air cleaning – if one wants to operate within the respective legal framework. As far as domestic tourism is concerned, however, new directions such as glamping or winter camping seem to be increasingly in demand. This opens up the possibility for owners of rural land to turn fallow meadows or forests into potential locations and sources of tourist revenue with relatively little effort and financial investment. The simplified requirements for setting up nonpermanent, overnight accommodation make this an investment opportunity to cash in on rather spontaneously.

Summary

The range of our 19 Motley Ideas stretched from money storage to glamping, from laboratory spaces to pop-up stores and lock-down-safe buildings. Every challenge brings new and different possibilities, and even in a seemingly static business – as real estate would superficially be considered to be, with a little imagination and careful observation of the markets, opportunities can always be worked out. We hope to have entertained you a little and perhaps provided some useful food for thought. Stay fearless and healthy!


Peter Fassl

Peter Fassl

GGI member firm
HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Law Firm Services
Vienna, Austria
T: +43 1 533 0533
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: hsp.law
Helmut Seitz

Helmut Seitz

GGI member firm
HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Law Firm Services
Vienna, Austria
T: +43 1 533 0533
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: hsp.law


Published: GGI Insider, No. 115, September 2021 l Photo: robertdering - stock.adobe.com

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