STR Global: EMEA ends 2013 on positive note

STR Global released its final monthly reports for the European and Middle East/African hotel markets for 2013, noting positive year-end results for the overall EMEA region and healthy development pipelines.

Europe

The European hotel industry saw growth in year-over-year metrics, indicating solid recovery for the year. Hotel demand grew 3.3 percent for the year, but this came at the expense of overall rates. “RevPAR remains €4 from pre-recession levels achieved in 2007,” said Naureen Ahmed, manager of marketing & analysis. “Southern Europe’s 6 percent RevPAR growth was one of the pleasant surprises of 2013. It is coming from a low base; however, it’s encouraging to see some growth in occupancy and ADR in the countries from these regions”.

Some notable trends from Europe's hotel scene include:

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• The U.K. has 38 percent of the total share of rooms to come online within Europe in 2014.
• Russia, where all eyes are currently on the impending the Winter Olympics in Sochi, has an expected supply increase of 96 percent.
• Spain is among the top five European countries with the largest pipelines, with an additional 4,000 rooms scheduled to open. 

Highlights from key market performers for December 2013 include (year-over-year comparisons, all currency in Euros):

• Two markets experienced occupancy growth of more than 15 percent: Vilnius, Lithuania (+15.9 percent to 49.8 percent) and Tel Aviv, Israel (+15.5 percent to 62.1 percent).
• Istanbul, Turkey, fell 5.9 percent in occupancy to 56.7 percent, reporting the largest decrease in that metric.
• Copenhagen, Denmark, rose 19.6 percent in ADR to €113.44, achieving the largest increase in that metric, followed by Tallinn, Estonia (16.9 percent to €78.25).
• Moscow, Russia (-11.4 percent to €133.55) posted the largest ADR decrease for the month.
• Three markets experienced RevPAR growth of more than 20 percent: Vilnius (+33.9 percent to €28.47); Copenhagen (+31.9 percent to €68.12); and Tallinn (+21.9 percent to €46.24).
• Istanbul fell 15.1 percent in RevPAR to €66.78, reporting the largest decrease in that metric.

STR also reported that the Europe hotel development pipeline has 864 hotels for a total of 142,953 rooms. Worth noting: Russia reported the largest number of rooms under construction (11,372 rooms), followed by the United Kingdom (10,285 rooms); Turkey (7,806 rooms); Germany (6,465 rooms); and the Netherlands (2,795 rooms).

Middle East & Africa Stats

The Middle East/Africa region, meanwhile, reported a 3.0-percent increase in occupancy to 59.5 percent, a 4.2-percent increase in average daily rate to US$180.65 and a 7.3-percent increase in revenue per available room to US$107.44.

Most of the Levant region, which includes Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel and Palestine, is struggling politically, and the hospitality industry is still suffering for it. Philip Wooller, area director of Middle East and Africa for STR Global, noted that Egypt has improved in terms of stability, and that the Red Sea resorts are seeing better numbers as well.

The United Arab Emirates was recently ranked among the top 10 fastest growing hotspots worldwide in 2013. In November 2013, the Expo 2020 was awarded to Dubai, which will take place in 2020. Wooler expects the emirate's hotel supply will need to nearly double from the existing 68,000 rooms to 120,000 rooms.

Highlights among the Middle East/Africa region’s key markets for December 2013 include (year-over-year comparisons, all currency in U.S. dollars):

• Sandton and Surroundings, South Africa, reported the largest occupancy increase, rising 19.0 percent to 51.6 percent. Amman, Jordan, followed with a 15.6-percent increase to 56.9 percent.
• Cairo, Egypt, fell 15.6 percent in occupancy to 35.1 percent, posting the largest decrease in that metric.
• Sandton rose 10.6 percent in ADR to US$124.71, reporting the largest increase in that metric.
• Doha, Qatar (-22.9 percent to US$182.65), ended the month with the largest ADR decrease.
• Three markets achieved RevPAR increases of more than 10 percent: Sandton (+31.7 percent to US$64.35); Amman (+19.2 percent to US$89.17); and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (+11.5 percent to US$162.72).
• Doha fell 16.9 percent in RevPAR to US$119.47, posting the largest decrease in that metric.

STR also reported that the Middle East/Africa hotel development pipeline, as of mid-January, has 498 hotels for a total 120,119 rooms. Among the region’s key markets, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, reported the largest number of rooms under construction (10,970 rooms). Five other markets reported more than 2,000 rooms under construction: Makkah, Saudi Arabia (6,927 rooms); Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (5,804 rooms); Doha, Qatar (4,944 rooms); Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (3,036 rooms); and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2,569 rooms).

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