Recovery in sight: Saudi hotel occupancy levels rise post COVID-19 lockdown

Operators in Jeddah report higher occupancy, room rates in July, says STR report

  
Hotel Room. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Hotel Room. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Hotels in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia are seeing some green shoots after posting their lowest occupancy levels during the lockdown period, the latest figures showed.

Hoteliers in the kingdom’s port city reported that occupancy rates hit 32.1 percent in July 2020, an improvement from April’s record lows, as coronavirus restrictions have eased, according to the preliminary data released by STR, which does hospitality industry benchmarking around the globe.

The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted the hospitality sector, particularly when governments imposed lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus. In many markets around the world, several hotels were empty while others opted to permanently shut down.

In Jeddah, occupancy levels averaged just 21.9 percent in April, down by 57.9 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

Saudi Arabia had imposed some of the strictest lockdowns In March in a bid to curb coronavirus infections. In May, it joined other Gulf states in gradually loosening mobility restrictions and reopening businesses.

Improvement

Hoteliers started to see some improvement in June, according to STR, and the trend continued In July, when the average daily rate (ADR) hit 769.35 riyals, the highest for any month in the market since October 2019, while the revenue per available room (RevPAR) averaged 247.17 riyals, the highest since February 2020.

“Jeddah’s hotel industry reported improved by low performance levels during July 2020,” STR said in a report.

“Each of Jeddah’s three performance metrics were up from June,” it added.

However, last month’s occupancy level was still lower by 57.9 percent compared with July 2019. The ADR during the period, which stood at 769.35 riyals, was also down by 36.8 percent compared with last year, while the RevPAR ( 247.17 riyals) dropped by 73.4 percent from last year.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

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