Beirut hotel occupancy rates up eight percent. Expatriates represented more than half the hotel occupants

Beirut hotel occupancy
rates up eight percent
Expatriates represented more than half the hotel occupants
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Beirut hotel occupancy in five and four star hotels grew by eight percent last year, compared to 2016, reaching a total rate of 64 percent, according to Ernst & Young’s Middle East hotel benchmark survey.

This increase was accompanied by a ten percent growth in the average room rate from $138 in 2016 to $151 last year. Revenues per available room (RevPAR) increased by 17 percent to reach $96. This is considered the highest increase since 2010.

Wadih Kanaan, Secretary General of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners, said: “Several reasons contributed to improving the rates, mainly the stable security situation, and the cooperation between the private and public sectors.” Last year The Ministry of Tourism, along with the private sector, organized the ‘Visit Lebanon’ event, which attracted around 150 travel and tourism companies. The Ministry also signed a deal with Globe Network, a company specialized in the MICE sector, to promote the country abroad.

The total number of tourists reached 1.8 million last year, registering a ten percent increase compared to 2016, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Europeans topped the list of visitors, registering a 13 percent increase, followed by Arab tourists, and Americans.

According to the Syndicate, expatriates and locals represented around 55 percent of the hotel occupants. “The conferences held for expatriates contributed in attracting them again,” said Kanaan.

Tourists from Arab countries represented 25 percent, and Europeans and other nationalities represented 20 percent. Kanaan said that tourists from the Gulf came back, especially Kuwaitis who held weddings in five-star hotels in Beirut.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Mar 23, 2018