|The Daily Star, Beirut,
Nov. 01, 2011--BEIRUT -- Ernst & Young's benchmark survey of the Middle East hotel sector indicated that the average occupancy rate at hotels in Beirut was 55 percent in the first 9 months of 2011, decreasing from 68 percent in the same period last year.
The occupancy rate at Beirut hotels was the eighth lowest among 21 markets in the region, the same position it held 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 $222 in the first 9 months of 2011, ranking the capital's hotels as the seventh most expensive in the region.
The average rate per room at Beirut hotels decreased by 15.3 percent year-on-year and posted the third steepest decrease among all markets in the region, behind Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt.
The average rate per room in Beirut came above the regional average of $183.3, which declined by 1.3 percent from from the original amount of $185.8 in the same period of last year.
Occupancy rates at Beirut hotels were 44 percent in January, 42 percent in February, 53 percent in March, 61 percent in April, 58 percent in May, 62 percent in June, 67 percent in July, 31 percent in August and 76 percent in September 2011 , compared to 64 percent in January, 76 percent in February, 68 percent in March, 79 percent in April, 71 percent in May, 77 percent in June, 80 percent in July, 43 percent in August and 53 percent in September 2010.
Further, revenues per available room (RevPAR) were $123 in Beirut hotels in the first 9 months of 2011, down from $179 in the same period last year, ranking it at 11th place in the region behind Muscat and Dubai and ahead of Al-Madina and Al-Ain.
Beirut's RevPAR was down 31.2 percent year-on-year, compared to a decrease of 9.8 percent across the region. Beirut posted RevPARs of $99 in January, $84 in February, $107 in March, $120 in April, $119 in May, $142 in June, $184 in July, $63 in August and $187 in September 2011 compared to RevPARs of $160 in January, $209 in February, $155 in March, $208 in April, $158 in May, $188 in June, $270 in July, $120 in August and $141 in September 2010.
Dubai Beach posted the highest average room rate in the region at $300 and the highest RevPAR at $242, while Dubai Apartments posted the highest occupancy rate at 82 percent in the first 9 months of the year.
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