According to Ernst & Young Middle East hotel benchmark survey, the occupancy rate in Lebanon’s 4- and 5-star hotels reached 71.60% by September 2019, compared to 63.60% during the same period last year.
In details, Beirut’s higher hotel occupancy rate was accompanied by annual upticks in Beirut’s average room rate and rooms yield, which climbed from $187 and $119 in Q3 2018 to $206 and $148 in Q3 2019, respectively. In fact, according to the report : “Several festivals and events including Beirut Image Festival 2019, Beirut Shopping Festival 2019 and the Picasso exhibition, along with government’s tourism initiative ‘Visit Lebanon’ and expanded airport capacity are expected to have contributed to Beirut’s hospitality sector demand. Even amidst increasing socio-political tensions, the tourism sector still bears signs of a promising outlook as tourists are still interested in visiting. This reflects Lebanon’s reputation as an attractive tourist destination catering to a variety of source markets.”
Regionally, Cairo’s hospitality market also recorded upticks across the board. It saw an increase in Occupancy by 3.6 percentage points to 74.5% by September 2019. Similarly, ADR also increased by 1.9% to $114, resulting in an increase in RevPar by 7% to US$85. The strong performance of tourism in Egypt may be attributed to several tourism campaigns, stable macroeconomic conditions, initiatives on sports tourism, heritage tourism, medical tourism and the MICE industry. In addition, the implementation of Open Skies Policy will allow Egyptian airlines to operate direct flights between key European cities and Cairo.
As for Abu Dhabi, its occupancy rate grew by an annual 5.1 percentage points (pp) to stand at 80.3% by September 2019. High profile events such as Special Olympics World Games, AFC Asian Cup football tournament, Abu Dhabi showdown week UFC 24 and annual MeetChina conference held during the period may have largely generated the demand for Abu Dhabi hospitality sector, along with the entry of limited supply into the market. The sector is expected to continue the momentum with upcoming events such as Korean Festival and Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In details, the average room rate and rooms yield increased from $94 and $69 to $97 and $73, respectively in Q3 2019.
Meanwhile, Dubai witnessed a drop across all its KPIs. The city’s hotel occupancy rate decreased by 3.3 p.p. to 72.7% by September 2019, owing it to “Softer economic conditions together with the entry of new inventory in the market”. As such, average room rate and rooms yield declined by a yearly 17.9% and 17.4%, to $108 and $79, respectively over the same period.
Monthly Occupancy Rates in Beirut 4-&5-Star Hotels
Source: E&Y MiddleEast Benchmark Survey