Lebanon Businessnews News

Hotel occupancy up,
so are five-star rates
Repositioning strategies, innovative

non-accommodation activities are behind the increase

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Hotels are breathing a sigh of relief after four difficult years, according to a special report about hospitality in the August issue of Lebanon Opportunities.

Rami Sayess, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, said: “Business began improving in October 2016.”

He said that if business were to continue at the same pace, profits would more than double than those achieved since operations began.

Sayess said that the difference this year is the influx of French, British, Italian, German visitors, and expats living in Dubai.

Saudis, followed by Kuwaitis and Qataris, are among the top Gulf nationals visiting the country. However, the length of time booked has decreased from several weeks to ten days on average.

Average occupancy rates in Beirut hotels rose 6.6 points to reach 61.1 percent in the first half of the year, according to a report on the performance of four and five star hotels by Ernst and Young.

Ernst and Young reported that the average room rate increased by seven percent to reach $145. Room yield increased 19 percent to $89.

The number of tourists grew 14 percent, reaching 826,000 visitors, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Fadi Kaedbey, General Manager of Ramada Plaza Beirut, said: “We increased occupancy rates by targeting a new demographic.”

The hotel readjusted its tariffs to appeal to tourist groups from Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey. Occupancy rates increased to more than 60 percent last year, with a better room yield.

To compensate for the fall in pure touristic activity, hotels are implementing other strategies such as creating additional food and beverage outlets, and targeting the conference and meeting (MICE) business.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Aug 03, 2017
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