Lebanon Businessnews News
 

Hotel occupancy rates
drop to 40 percent in Beirut
Slight increase in revenues

and cuts in payroll, overheads

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Average occupancy rates in Beirut hotels dropped to 40 percent last year, according to the Syndicate of Hotel Owners.

Prices per room since that date have dropped around 40 percent from 2009 – when occupancy peaked at 70 percent.

Pierre Achkar, Chairman of the Syndicate, said: “Hotels, especially four star and below, are registering losses.”

According to UK-based hospitality intelligence agency Hotstats, hotels in Beirut slashed costs, and achieved a 0.3 percent increase in total revenues per room (RevPAR). Savings were made in payroll (-6.6 percent) and overheads (-13 percent).

Achkar said that the increase in revenues has been registered only at international hotel chains. Five-star hotels benefited from the drop in prices, because tourists who usually book four-star hotels for affordable prices are instead booking five-star hotels.

“This has helped them achieve the minimum increase in profits,” he said.

He said that it is difficult for hotels to cut costs because they should always be in a position to welcome guests 24 hours a day. For example, hotels should be lit, heated, clean, and able to provide services and food at all times.

“We will wait for the summer season to see if there are any improvements, because it represents half the revenues for the year,” said Achkar.

Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Jan 19, 2017