Political instability remains the defining factor in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) market, according to the August HotStats figures from consultants TRI Hospitality.
While Kuwait posted promising results, with a 17.8 per cent growth in revenue and a 72.9 per cent increase in profit, occupancy rates remained very low, at 33.9 per cent. In the last year performance levels in Kuwait have softened – a 6.9 per cent drop in revenue per available room (RevPAR), a 1.6 per cent drop in total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) and a 1.8 per cent decline in gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR).
Egypt is slowly emerging from the sales slump caused by 2011’s political turmoil. Occupancy levels increased 18.6 per cent to 41 per cent, but its surging RevPAR (+78.1 per cent), TRevPAR (+61.6 per cent) and GOPPAR (+291.3 per cent) might be an indication of how bad things were last year, rather than how good they are this year. Sharm el Sheikh – where occupancy levels are 70.6 per cent – posted a 28.3 per cent increase in average room rate, a figure equating only to £32.85, and a 34 per cent increase in RevPAR, a figure translating only to £23.20.
Abu Dhabi, which sees far less leisure traffic than Dubai, showed slight growth. Occupancy increased 5.8 per cent to 56.9 per, RevPAR increased by 0.9 per cent to a figure of £33.88, TRevPAR increased by 3.9 per cent to £83.25 and GOPPAR increased by 26.1 per cent to £11.28.
Only Dubai showed confidence, reporting an increase of 8.6 per cent in occupancy to 64 per cent, an average room rate increase of 19.4 per cent to £127, and a 39.4 per cent increase in RevPAR to £81.38. These figures reflect the 20 per cent passenger increase at Dubai International Airport in August 2012 compared to the same month last year – some 4.85 million passengers.
Peter Goddard, managing director of TRI Hospitality Consulting in Dubai, commented: “The on-going political uncertainty appears to have had a direct impact on [Kuwait]. We note that leisure demand has seen notable growth this year, driven by a higher number of nationals and visitors from neighbouring Saudi Arabia spending holidays in Kuwait as the Levant region remains unstable. Cairo’s hotel industry is showing signs of a slow recovery. As safety concerns subside and business activity and sentiment resumes, leisure and corporate travellers are returning, boosting occupancy and revenues significantly.”
Pictured: Peter Goddard