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August 2014: Hotel performances on the rise in the MENA region

In 2014, Ramadan did not extend into the month of August as it did in 2013. This "calendar effect" has driven up hotel performances in most countries in the MENA region, with some exceptions such as Saudi Arabia. Occupancy has been a key growth engine in August, and many countries posted double-digit RevPAR gains.

Relatively good growth in both OR and ADR led to good results for the RevPAR in most countries in August. The end of Ramadan contributes to those results in August, with exception to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE.

In North Africa, business travel and expatriates visiting their families had a positive impact on tourism. Algeria, Tunisia & Morocco posted significant growth. The RevPAR of Tunisian hotels rose by 29.9% on average. Algeria also posted outstanding growth (+32.4%) in August: sadly, the abduction and execution of a French tourist in September happened just as the country's tourism industry was entering a strong positive momentum...

Egypt also shows some change on its market with respect to last year when the political situation was very tense: tourists returned in August 2014, so the OR increased sharply (+32.2 pts). Turkey, meanwhile, saw its ADR increase by +22.3%, partly thanks to Istanbul's growth (ADR +25.0%).

In recent months, Marrakech had been the strongest destination in Morocco. Despite a stagnating ADR in August (-0.1%), the city continued to grow thanks to another rise in occupancy rates (+9.6 pts). The same upward trend may be observed for Casablanca, although it is not as strong. These two cities made the strongest contribution to the country's good results (RevPAR = + 8.6% in August).

Despite the situation in Syria, the RevPAR in Lebanon and Jordan rose in August by 22.4% and 10.8% respectively. Last year, Jordan's RevPAR had increased by 34.1%.

The end of Ramadan affected RevPAR growth rates in countries on the Arabian Peninsula in different ways. Bahrain and Qatar posted 37% and 20.8% growth in their respective RevPARs, driven by their occupancy rates (+16.1 and +14.3 points, respectively), as MICE and business travelers made their way back in August 2014. The Emirates posted stable activity (RevPAR = -0.6%) in August.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia naturally -as the Hajj extended into August 2013- recorded a decline compared to last year, especially in the city of Mecca (-57.2% in RevPAR).

Also Read:

  • September 2014: the Middle East hotel industry began fall season under good conditions
  • North Africa: tourism a victim of terrorism
  • July 2014: Middle Eastern hoteliers feel the effect of Ramadan

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