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Paris prices survive post-terror attack slump

Average room rates hold steady in November, while Barcelona reaps benefit of large-scale conferences

Pictured: Paris, where room rates increased by 12 per cent in November

Average room rates in Paris withstood falling occupancy figures in the aftermath of November’s terror attacks, according to the latest data from HotStats.

The November European Chain Hotels market review revealed that year-on-year average room rate (ARR) rose 12 per cent to €321 (£243), despite a 10 per cent decline in room occupancy as both leisure numbers fell and major conferences and exhibitions scheduled for November were cancelled. 

A shift in ‘demand sources’, partially attributed to the number of the world’s media descending on the capital in the wake of attacks, contributed to the rate increases, says the report.

In Barcelona, large-scale conferences and exhibitions such as the Microsoft Convergence EMEA 2015, Smart City Expo World Congress 2015 and the Gamification World Congress 2015 helped hoteliers leverage rate increases. Average rates hit €176 (£133), a year-on-year increase of 7 per cent, as more than 20,000 delegates arrived in the Spanish city.

Elsewhere, Prague registered positive movements in average rates and occupancy, as improving Czech economic conditions and new hotels boosted volumes. Rates improved 6 per cent to €88 (£67).

In the HotStats Middle East and North Africa report, hotel bookings plummeted 25 per cent in Sharm El Sheikh in November following the crash of a Russian airplane, as the government continues its efforts to lure back British travellers.

The terror attack has been blamed for year-on-year occupancy in Sharm El Sheikh falling from 62 per cent to 36.2 per cent, while all flights from the UK into the Egyptian city remain cancelled.

The Egyptian government has just announced it will spend more than £22 million on CCTV cameras, sniffer dogs and X-ray machines at tourist resorts in a bid to bolster visitor numbers.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s capital Doha was affected by continued weak oil prices during the month, which saw occupancy levels fall 5.5 per cent to 75.1 per cent in November. ARR, fell 13 per cent to US$199 (£139) in the same year-on-year period.

Four and five star hotels in Dubai continued to experience strong bookings with a monthly average of 85 per cent occupancy (a slight drop of 1.2 per cent year on year). Average rates fell 7 per cent to US$315 (£220).

Meanwhile, Beirut was identified the one Middle Eastern city where ARR increased, rising 16 per cent to an average rate of US$142 (£99), although its occupancy levels fell to 58 per cent.

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