Middle East hotel bookings improve but most properties still half-empty

August revenue per available room plunges 50% to $49.23

Hotel room. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Hotel room. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images

Hotels across the Middle East have seen an uptick in bookings in recent weeks, but overall occupancy levels remain subdued when compared to last year.

Hoteliers in the region reported 42.6 percent occupancy for the month of August, down 32.5 percent from the same period last year. It is the lowest occupancy level for any August on record, according to an STR report released on Wednesday.

The coronavirus pandemic brought the hospitality industry to a standstill in March when the global lockdown was enforced. Occupancy levels started to improve after the restrictions were lifted, but the number of guest check-ins are still way lower than a year ago.

Daily rates

STR also reported that the average daily rate at hotels in the Middle East was $115.46 in August, down 25.3 percent year over year, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) plunged by 50.3 percent to just $49.23.

The same trend can be observed in the African market, where occupancy averaged 25 percent, down 60.5 percent from the previous year. African hotels’ average daily rate dropped by 11.8 percent to $95.75, and RevPAR was $23.91, down 65 percent.

“Despite month-over-month improvements, both the Middle East and Africa saw their lowest absolute occupancy and RevPAR for any August on record,” STR analysts said in a report.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)


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