|The Daily Star, Beirut,
LebanonMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
October 06, 2010 - --BEIRUT -- Ernst & Young's benchmark survey of the Middle East hotel sector indicated that the average occupancy rate at hotels in Beirut was 70 percent in the eight months of 2010, decreasing from 72 percent in the same period last year, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.
The occupancy rate at Beirut hotels was the 11th highest among 19 markets in the region, while it was 7th highest in the first eight months of 2009. The survey said the average rate per room at Beirut hotels was $261 in the first eight months of 2010, ranking the capital's hotels as the third most expensive in the region behind Dubai-Beach and Doha.
The average rate per room in Beirut increased by 7.2 percent to $261 year-on-year and posted the fifth highest increase in the region. The average rate per room in Beirut came above the regional average of $192.2, which declined by 0.4 percent from $193 in the same period of 2009.
Occupancy rates at Beirut hotels were 64 percent in January, 76 percent in February, 68 percent in March, 79 percent in April, 71 percent in May, 77 percent in June 2010, 80 percent in July and 43 percent in August compared to 85 percent in January, 76 percent in February, 74 percent in March, 81 percent in April, 68 percent in May, 69 percent in June, 87 percent in July and 75 percent in August 2009. The decline in August is attributed to the start of Ramadan and the departure of Gulf and Arab nationals. Beirut hotels had an occupancy rate of 73 percent for all of 2009.
Revenues per available room (RevPAR) were $183 in Beirut in the first eight months of 2010, up from $177 in the same period last year, ranking it in second place in the region after Dubai-Beach. Beirut's RevPAR was up 3.5 percent year-on-year, posting the ninth highest rise in the region, behind Cairo-City, Cairo-Overall and Jeddah, and compared to an increase of 1.55 percent across the region.
Beirut posted RevPARs of $160 in January, $209 in February, $155 in March, $208 in April, $158 in May, $188 in June, $270 in July 2010 and $120 in August. Dubai-Beach posted the highest average room rate in the region at $284 and the highest RevPAR at $228. -- The Daily Star
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