|The Daily Star, Beirut,
LebanonMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 08, 2011--BEIRUT -- Beirut's hotel industry experienced a downfall this year with a 64.5 percent decline in occupancy rate for the first six months of 2011, according to figures released by STR Global.
Occupancy rates have been below last year's throughout 2011. Ernst and Young's benchmark survey of the Middle East hotel sector reported in May the average occupancy rate at hotels in Beirut was 50 percent in the first four months of 2011.
However, occupancy rates for June saw a much less steep decline, at 4.5 percent year-on-year. Revenue per available room declined by 15.1 percent for the month, to $136.
In July, the Association of Hotel Owners estimated the drop in revenues in the hospitality sector to be roughly 40 percent on last year, noting that the month of August will also witness a decline as many Muslim tourists prefer to be at home during fasting period.
The report also highlighted hotel industries of some Middle Eastern cities including Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and Jeddah, with the latter rated as the highest in terms of occupancy rate and rate of revenue.
Cairo hotels experienced a decline of 39.2 percent this year as the rate of revenue for each hotel room was set at $45.
However, the Middle Eastern region overall registered a 59 percent rise in occupancy rates and the revenue rate also saw a rise of 5.3 percent making the revenue of each hotel room $96.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon
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