|The Daily Star, Beirut,
LebanonMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 24, 2011--BEIRUT -- Ernst & Young's benchmark survey of the Middle East hotel sector indicated that the average occupancy rate at hotels in Beirut was 50 percent in the first four months of 2011 compared to 72 percent in the same period last year.
The occupancy rate at hotels in Beirut was the seventh lowest among 21 markets in the region, unchanged from the first four months last year, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.
The survey said the average rate per room at Beirut hotels was $203 in the first four months of 2011, ranking the capital's hotels as the 11th most expensive in the region. The average rate per room at Beirut hotels decreased by 19.5 percent year-on-year and posted the steepest decline among all markets in the region.
The average rate per room in Beirut came above the regional average of $193, which decreased marginally by 0.8 percent from $194.5 in the first four months last year. Occupancy rates at Beirut hotels were 44 percent in January, 42 percent in February, 53 percent in March and 61 percent in April. Beirut hotels had occupancy rates of 64 percent in January, 76 percent in February, 68 percent in March and 79 percent in April 2010.
Further, revenues per available room (RevPAR) were $103 in Beirut in the first four months of 2011, down from $182 in the same period last year, and ranking it in 13th place in the region. Beirut's RevPAR was down 43.6 percent year-on-year, compared to a 16 percent decrease across the region.
Beirut posted RevPARs of $99 in January, $84 in February, $107 in March and $120 in April 2011 compared to RevPARs of $160 in January, $209 in February, $155 in March and $208 in April of last year.
Dubai-Beach posted the highest average room rate in the region at $396 and the highest RevPAR at $344, while Dubai-Apartments posted the highest occupancy rate at 88 percent in the first four months of 2011.
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