Where are the tourists? Hotel stays in Beirut second-lowest in the Middle East

Published July 6th, 2015 - 11:10 GMT

The average occupancy rate at Beirut hotels stood at 56.1 percent during the 1996-2014 period, constituting the second-lowest rate among 14 cities in the Middle East for which complete data is available over the covered period, according to the annual survey of the Middle East hotel sector by global hotel consulting firm HVS. The survey said that the average rate per room at Beirut hotels grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.3 percent during the 1996-2014 period, while revenues per available room (RevPAR) increased by a CAGR of 1 percent during the covered period, constituting the lowest growth rates in the Middle East on both indicators.

In parallel, HVS said that the average occupancy rate at Beirut hotels was 49 percent in 2014, similar to the occupancy rate of Salalah in Oman, and constituted the seventh-lowest rate among 36 Arab cities covered by the survey.

Also, the occupancy rate at Beirut hotels increased by 2 percent in 2014 from the previous year, compared to an increase of 3 percent for the region. The survey pointed out that Beirut was among 19 cities that posted an increase in occupancy rates and had the second-lowest rise in the region after Muscat in Oman (+1 percent). Further, the occupancy rate at Beirut hotels in 2014 was the fifth-lowest rate in Lebanon since 1996, and came higher than the rates of 48 percent in 2013 and 2006, 45 percent in 1996 and 39 percent in 2007.

In addition, HVS indicated that revenues per available room (RevPAR) at Beirut hotels reached $86 in 2014 – up by 3 percent year-on-year – compared to the regional average of $88. The rise in RevPAR in Beirut was the third-lowest in the region, along with Aqaba in Jordan, but better than Riyadh and Medina (+2 percent each). RevPAR at Beirut hotels were the 19th-highest in the region last year. Further, the RevPAR at Beirut hotels in 2014 was the ninth-highest in Lebanon during the previous 19 years, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.

HVS said the average room rate at Beirut hotels reached $175 in 2014, relative to $174 in 2013 and to an average of $147 for the region. The average room rate at Beirut hotels in 2014 was the 12th-highest in the region. Further, the average room rate at Beirut hotels in 2014 was the fifth-highest in Lebanon during the previous 19 years, lower than $281 in 2009, $263 in 2010, $241 in 2012 and $220 in 2011.


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