Middle East has world’s highest hotel occupancy


The global hotel market got off to a good start in 2008, driven by strong average room rate growth, according to an analysis by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. “Most regions have seen strong growth for the first six months of 2008, which is a great result for the industry given the current economic uncertainties facing the global economy,” said Alex Kyriakidis, global managing partner of tourism, hospitality and leisure at Deloitte.
The RevPAR in the Middle East grew 21.6 per cent to $135. “The region also had the highest occupancy and average room rates in the world at 75.3 per cent and $180 respectively,” said Rob O’Hanlon, tourism, hotel and leisure partner at Deloitte Middle East.
RevPAR growth continues in Dubai, albeit at a slower pace than last year – up 9.6 percent to $274. The emirate also achieved the highest occupancy and average room rates of any city in the Middle East at 85.3 per cent and $321.
Resorts in Egypt also reported strong RevPAR growth, as the country becomes more popular with tourists due to the low price of luxury accommodation. Taba came out on top, with RevPAR rising 93.2 per cent. However, absolute RevPAR in Taba is the lowest in the Middle East at $27.
North America, the world’s largest branded hotel market, was the only region not to achieve double digit RevPAR growth in the first six months of 2008. While occupancy dipped to 61.5 per cent, average room rates grew 4.8 percent to $109 – a $5 increase on the same period last year. Data from the US shows that there has been an increase in weekday demand and a drop in weekend demand suggesting that leisure travellers are curtailing their travel plans as the economic downturn eats into discretionary leisure spend, says Deloitte.
Central and South America had the highest growth of any region with RevPAR rising 23.0 per cent to $82, driven by average room rate increases of 19.5 per cent. The region is benefiting from the weak US dollar, which is keeping US travellers close to home. Most cities have witnessed strong growth. 
In Europe, RevPAR increased 15.2 per cent to $115. A number of European cities have reported strong growth for the first six months of the year despite the current economic slow down and the strength of the Euro’s potential to deter visitor numbers from these countries, continued the report.
Hotels in Russia continue to report some of the highest RevPAR results in Europe, with Moscow achieving a RevPAR of $268 – up 25.1 per cent.
Hotels in Asia Pacific reported a 13.3 per cent growth in RevPAR, reaching $100. Improvements have been driven by increases in average room rates which now stand at $147. Bali achieved the highest RevPAR growth, 38.8 per cent increase in RevPAR to $86.
Commenting on the results, Kyriakidis said, “The Middle East looks set for a fifth consecutive year of double digit growth, and Asia is also well placed to have another strong year.”