According to Ernst & Young Middle East hotel benchmark survey, the occupancy rate in Beirut’s 4- and 5-star hotels slipped to an all-time low of 16% by November 2020, down from last year’s registered 69% during the same period.
In details, we can attribute the low hotel occupancy rate to several reasons. Starting with the global pandemic Covid-19 that have affected the world, followed by the blast that hit Beirut port on August 4, 2020, ending with the financial crisis and political deadlock in Lebanon. As a result, the number of arrival to Beirut airport recorded a reduction by 72.22% by November 2020, compared to the same period last year, which affected negatively the hospitality sector.
On a monthly performance, Beirut occupancy rate witnessed a decrease in occupancy rate, and recorded a downtick of 2.5 percentage point (pp) in November 2020 compared to the same period last year. However, the average room rate has increased by 156% from $84 in November 2019 to $215 in November 2020, which led to a RevPAR growth of 132.6% during the same period. In fact, hotels took advantage of the government decision that forces the inbound travelers to quarantine at hotels and increased average room rates (not to mention the increase is inflated by valuing the room rates at the official exchange rate of 1500LL per USD).
On a regional level, the occupancy rates in Dubai overall fell by 33.9 pp year-to-date (YTD) to 41%. By the same token, the Average room rate and Room yields fell by 15.1% and 53.7% to stand at $186 and $76, respectively by November 2020. Further, the slump in Dubai’s hospitality sector is partly attributed to the COVID-19 disruptions.
In its turn Madinah, in KSA, witnessed notable drops across the board. The city’s hotel occupancy rate decreased by 39.6 pp YTD to 23% by November. 2020. Accordingly, the Average room rate and Rooms yield fell by 20.5% and 70.9% to $114 and $26, respectively, over the same period. In fact, Madinah’s hospitality sector has suffered the most due to entry restrictions for pilgrims to the Holy Mosque.
The hospitality sector in the Mena region is still affected by the deadly pandemic, as more deterioration is expected in this sector amid the surge of corona virus cases in the world.
Occupancy Rates in Beirut’s 4-&5-Star Hotels by November