Hotel room rates in Riyadh surge after Saudi opens to travel

Revenue per available room also hits highest level since June: STR

Image used for illustrative purpose. Luxury hotel room interior.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Luxury hotel room interior.

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Hotel room rates in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh have surged to their highest level after the kingdom resumed international flights, according to the latest preliminary data from industry analyst STR. 

The average daily rate (ADR) stood at 520.78 riyals ($141.78) in September 2021, the highest since May this year, while the revenue per available room (RevPAR) reached 307.46 riyals, the highest since June. 

Saudi Arabia allowed the resumption of international travel last May. Hotels across the region had struggled after holiday and business travel plummeted as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. 

However, STR said the absolute hotel occupancy rate in Riyadh dipped slightly to 59 percent in September from 60.5 percent in August.  

Pre-COVID rates 

Overall hotel activity last month remained below pre-COVID levels, with September 2019 recording occupancy levels at 62.1 percent, ADR at 553.14 riyals and RevPAR at 343.47 riyals. 

The hotel sector had been hoping that demand would pick up after the massive vaccination campaign and easing of COVID-19 restrictions. 

According to Colliers, several markets in the Middle East and North Africa region have started to recover in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

“While travel restrictions are easing, controlled and consistent growth is key to recovering, and in the future, improving on the hospitality performance in the key markets,” Colliers said. 

The property consultancy firm had forecast that Riyadh’s full-year occupancy will average 60 percent this year, up by 19 percent compared to 2020. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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