According to Ernst & Young Middle East hotel benchmark survey, Lebanon’s occupancy rate registered 56.7% in January 2017, up from 55.7% in January 2016. Among the MENA countries, Lebanon ranked ahead of Jordan, Kuwait, and Bahrain, but lost to Cairo, Dubai, and Doha. As expected, Dubai remained at the top of MENA countries with an 85.7% hotel occupancy rate for the first month of the year.
The biggest winner in the region was Egypt as Cairo’s occupancy rates edged up by yearly 13.7 percentage points (p.p.) to 70.2%. The progress in this country is mainly attributed to the holiday season as well as the devaluation of the currency which made tourism more affordable for foreigners. Cairo’s average rate per room and room yield rose to $91 and $64, respectively, in January 2017, compared to $43 and $24 in January 2016.
Over the same period, the largest downturn in 4 and 5 star hotels’ occupancy rate was recorded in Saudi Arabia, where Jeddah and Riyadh lost 12.4 p.p and 9.4 p.p to stand at 52.8% and 42.7%. This drop can be justified by the fall in “in meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition due to corporate spending cuts in both the public and private sectors.” Jeddah and Riyadh’s Average Room Rate (ARR) dropped by 10.4 p.p and 15.9 p.p to $218 and $170, respectively.
Back to Lebanon, the occupancy rate increased by 1 percentage points (p.p.) to 56.7% in the first month of 2017. The ARR and Revenue per Available Room (RevPar) gained a yearly 0.8% and 2.6% to $144 and $82, respectively. This can be partially linked to the improving political situation as well as the skiing season that began earlier in the month.
Lebanon’s Monthly Occupancy rates
Source: EY Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey