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Andersen: Middle East hotel markets continue to suffer

Andersen<.>, have recently released analysis of October results from the Middle East and Africa edition of the Andersen Hotel Industry Benchmark Survey

Andersen<.>, have recently released analysis of October results from the Middle East and Africa edition of the Andersen Hotel Industry Benchmark Survey.



Hoteliers around the world continue to reel from the post-September 11 slump in room bookings, those in the Middle East and Africa have not been spared, with revPAR in US dollars declining in all but one market tracked by the Andersen Hotel Industry Benchmark Survey. Manama was the only market to record growth in both occupancy and average room rate in the month of October, bucking the general trend, which saw double digit declines in occupancy in 21 of 28 markets. However, Alexandria, Muscat, Makkah and Medina and Provincial Saudi Arabia rallied during the month and saw increases in occupancy figures compared to October 2000. Muscat, in fact, is the only market that has seen consistent increases in occupancy in every month this year.



Manama`s increase in occupancy has resulted mainly from extra military business, but the corporate and Saudi leisure weekend market remained stable. The conference business was negatively affected with significant cancellation of international bookings. In Muscat the occupancy for the leisure market has been negatively affected but this was also substituted by the extra military business. Makkah hotels have suffered mainly from decrease in international pilgrims visitation which has been counterbalanced by Umrah pilgrims from the Saudi and GCC market during the month of Rajab.



September signalled the start of the winter season for the Middle East and Africa, and hoteliers had anticipated a boom in business. However, the September 11 terrorist attacks, coupled with the continuing conflict in Israel and the war in Afghanistan, have seen travel and tourism to the region plummet. This has led to all but seven markets recording revPAR declines for the year to October.



The outlook for the industry in the coming months is difficult to predict due to its dependency on factors beyond the control of the region`s hoteliers.



International convention and leisure business continues to be the hardest hit, although corporate business and domestic and intra-regional travel seem to be less adversely affected. In the short-term, hoteliers may find that these latter markets prove capable of replacing lost business, as they wait for consumers to regain their confidence in international travel, and for leisure business to the region to pick up once again.



Selected top performing markets ranked in terms of revPAR growth (January – October 2001)


Manama, Occupancy 64%, Average room rate 118 US$, RevPAR 76 US$, RevPAR growth 9.4%

Muscat, Occupancy 64%, Average room rate 70 US$, RevPAR 45 US$, RevPAR growth 7.5v

Abu Dhabi, Occupancy 71%, Average room rate 82 US$,RevPAR 59 US$,RevPAR growth 5.8%

Dubai-City Centre, Occupancy 73%,Average room rate 91 US$, RevPAR 67 US$, RevPAR growth 1.6%

Riyadh, Occupancy 56%, Average room rate 119 US$, RevPAR 66 US$, RevPAR growth 1.5%

Kuwait City, Occupancy 48%, Average room rate 173 US$, RevPAR 83 US$, RevPAR growth 1.3%


Source: Andersen Hotel Industry Benchmark Survey – Middle East and Africa edition

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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