Hotel occupancy up room rates higher
Stabilized political situation credited for improving numbers
Hotel occupancy in five- and four-star hotels grew by 14 percent in Q1 2015, compared to the same period last year, reaching a total rate of 53 percent, compared to 39 percent last year, according to Ernst & Young’s Middle East hotel benchmark survey report.
This increase was accompanied by a growth in the average room rate from $159 to $172. According to Nadia Fafi, Sales Executive at Radisson Blu, the industry is performing better this year. “We are seeing Gulf tourists coming back, even if not in very high numbers, and reservations are doing well,” she said.
The increase in occupancy was attributed to the continuous stabilized political situation, along with the ArabNet Beirut 2015 Conference, said the report.
According to Pierre Achkar, Chairman of the Hotel Owners Syndicate, the increase at the level of international and five-star hotel occupancies is also seen in lower ranked hotels. “The increase in the number of tourists that was seen during the first quarter was not reflected in hotels, because a high number of expats were counted among the arrivals. They do not occupy hotel rooms.”
Achkar said that most visitors are Iraqi, Jordanian, and Egyptian, who chose three-star hotels and did not stay more than three days. “Unlike GCC tourists, who stay at least 15 days,” he said.
Date Posted: Apr 22, 2015