The hotel industry in the Middle East reported negative performance results during the first quarter of 2017. However, hotels in Africa posted growth across the three key performance metrics, according to data from STR.
Occupancy in the Middle East market fell by -1.4 percent to 70.5 percent. The average daily rate and revenue per available room also experienced significant drops. ADR fell by -6.8 percent to $122.07 while RevPAR fell by 8.2 percent to $122.07.
Africa's occupancy increased by 5 percent to 56 percent. ADR and RevPAR also jumped significantly. ADR increased by +9.8 percent, bringing it to $111.15, while RevPAR increased by 15.3 percent to $62.19.
Lebanon's occupancy rose by 10.1 percent to 49.3 percent as ADR and RevPAR increased as well. ADR grew by +0.8 percent to LBP219,811.07. RevPAR fared better than ADR, as it increased significantly by +11.percent to LBP108,302.14.
A particularly strong March lifted Lebanon’s quarterly performance, as RevPAR rose 30.9 percent due to a 25.8-percent uplift in occupancy.
At the market level, Beirut recorded strong performance growth for March (RevPAR: +29.4 percent) and the entire first quarter (RevPAR: +12.5 percent). According to STR analysts, Beirut has seen a recent surge in tourism, helped by promotional efforts and government initiatives to facilitate political stability.
The KSA's performance levels slumped during the first quarter, with occupancy levels falling by 10.4 percent to 58.3 percent
ADR dropped by 12.0 percent to SAR578.09 as RevPAR dropped 21.2 percent to SAR337.29.
Performance was down across all submarkets, with Al Khobar/Dammam and Jeddah reporting the most significant RevPAR declines (-38.6 percent and -33.3 percent, respectively).
Demand fell 6.4 percent in the country while supply grew 4.6 percent. According to research by Colliers International, Saudi Arabia plans to invest $2 billion in cultural tourism, with a series of projects and targets laid out for Saudi Vision 2030.
Tunisia's occupancy increased by 31.2 percent to 42.5 percent. Although ADR dropped in this market by 2 percent to TND161.58, RevPAR saw a strong 28.6-percent hike to TND68.70.
STR analysts note that Tunisia’s occupancy growth came in comparison with months of significant decline in 2016. A low comparison base remained during that time period due to the 2015 terrorist attack in Sousse.
Nonetheless, positive indications show in the eight projects currently in construction in the country and the additional five projects in various phases of planning. The new supply set to enter the market includes several global brands.