Thursday, February 23, 2017

ME hotel occupancy, rates down in January

Hotels in the Middle East reported declines across the three key performance indicators in January, while hotels in Africa recorded positive results for the same period, a report has revealed.

According to January 2017 data from STR, a hotel data benchmarking firm, the Middle East reported a 2.7 per cent decrease in occupancy to 68.4 per cent, resulting in an 8.4 per cent drop in average daily rate (ADR) to $177.81. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) showed the steepest fall, slipping 11.0 per cent to $121.62.

On the other hand, Africa experienced a 4.5 per cent increase in occupany to 50.6 per cent, pushing average daily rate up 12 per cent to $118.16. RevPAR also climbed significantly, moving up 17.5 per cent to to $59.76.

Performance of featured countries and local markets for 2016

The UAE hospitality sector posted a slight increase in occupancy rates (+0.5 per cent to 81.1 per cent) in January, but saw declines in ADR (down 8.0 per cent to Dh711.80/$193.7) and RevPAR (down 7.5 per cent to Dh577.09/$157)

While supply (up 5.3 per cent) in the UAE grew at a rapid pace, demand (up 5.8 per cent) grew at a stronger rate each month since November 2016, leading to moderate occupancy growth.

Most of the occupancy growth for January occurred in smaller markets like Fujairah (up 7.2 per cent), Ras al-Khaimah (up 10.1 per cent) and Sharjah (up 5.5 per cent). Abu Dhabi reported a 1.5 per cent decline, and Dubai posted nearly flat performance. Jumeirah Palm & Beaches, a submarket within Dubai, posted the highest occupancy growth (up 5.8 per cent), although ADR declined marginally (down 0.2 per cent). As a result of strong supply growth, especially in the midscale segment, ADR declined across most Emirates markets in January.

Egypt’s also reported positive occupancy rates (up 24.3 per cent to 47.5 per cent), with ADR (up 92.9 per cent to EGP1,276.25/$80.6) and RevPAR (up 139.8 per cent to EGP606.79/38.3) also climbing significantly.

While Egypt’s performance represented significant improvement in local currency, STR analysts note that the devaluation of the Egyptian pound has significantly inflated ADR figures. When reported in U.S. dollars, ADR decreased 19.1 per cent.

January did, however, result in an improvement in occupancy from the very low levels of the last 15 months. STR analysts believe that year-over-year results show some recovery from the air crash in the Sinai Peninsula in late 2015, but ongoing security concerns are still weighing on actual performance levels. Demand for the country increased 24.8 per cent during the month, which is noteworthy considering demand was down 15.3 per cent for total-year 2016.

At the market level, Cairo hotels posted a 20.6 per cent increase in occupancy to 68.6 per cent for the month, while Sharm El Sheikh’s occupancy rose 26.2 per cent to 29.9 per cent.

The occupancy rate in Mauritius moved up 4.1 per cent to 83.8 per cent, pushing ADR up 8.1 per cent to MUR9,225.28 ($249.5) and RevPAR up 12.5 per cent to MUR7,726.48 ($208.9).

The country has recorded year-over-year increases in occupancy for four Januarys in a row, and the 83.8 per cent actual level marked the highest for the month since 2007.

Additionally, even in comparison with a strong first month of 2016, Mauritius still posted impressive ADR growth. On both New Year’s Day and Chinese New Year (January 28), Mauritius’ occupancy levels exceeded 90.0 per cent. STR analysts note that the country is a major destination for Chinese tourists. - TradeArabia News Service

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