Middle East hotels enjoy record growth

Preliminary global hotel performance data for 2004 from the HotelBenchmark Survey by Deloitte shows a marked improvement compared to 2003.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  January 31, 2005

Preliminary global hotel performance data for 2004 from the HotelBenchmark Survey by Deloitte shows a marked improvement compared to 2003. Latest figures show that all regions across the world — Europe, Asia and the Middle East — managed to post double-digit growth in revenue per available room (revPAR) during 2004, with the Middle East running ahead of the pack, pushing revPAR up by 28% on the prior year. Asia was not far behind, reporting growth of 25%, while Europe saw an increase of 15%. An increase in 2004 revenue over 2003 is not a real surprise to the industry, given the challenges presented in 2003, including the war in Iraq, SARS and general economic conditions. What is also not surprising is that revPAR in the Middle East and Asia is now ahead of the last strongest year on record, 2000. Analysis of a consistent sample of hotels over the last four years shows that hotels in the Middle East and Asia achieved revPAR of almost US $10 higher than four years ago. This picture is consistent with the latest figures from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), which show that the growth in international visitor arrivals to these markets is amongst the strongest in the world. During the first eight months of 2004, both regions saw visitor numbers exceed the levels achieved during the same period in 2002 — the previous record year. “Given the events of recent years, 2004 was always expected to be a stronger year for the hotel industry. As it turned out, it was an exceptionally strong year for tourism as a whole, with international tourist arrivals showing the strongest rate of growth since 1984,” says Julia Felton, director of HotelBenchmark at Deloitte. “Clearly this has had a knock-on impact on hotel performance. It is really encouraging to see how quickly some markets have recovered, particularly given that hotel performance in the Middle East and Asia is exceeding the levels achieved in 2000,” Felton adds.

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