Kuwait City, March 26: MEED magazine reported that the upward trend in hotel occupancy rates and other performance measures has boosted confidence in the hotel market in the Middle East, as the hospitality sector is cautiously optimistic about the sector’s future, while data indicates that there is a slow but steady recovery for hotels in the region – especially in countries Which opened its borders to tourists, focused on promoting local tourism, and strengthened campaigns for this purpose during closures.
The magazine added that the hotel market in Kuwait is expected to witness the opening of hotels containing 8,400 new rooms by 2023, compared to 17,000 rooms in Saudi Arabia and 22,100 in the UAE, and the Radisson Hotel Group has signed contracts to build 5 hotels in the region with 1,500 rooms.
There are projects for new hotels in Qatar, the Emirates and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
The magazine believes that the challenges that the sector faced in the past year were many and varied, not the least of which was the decline in the global travel market.
Data from real estate consultancy Knight Frank shows that in 2020, the total number of trips worldwide fell from the 2019 average of about 115,000 trips per day to about 28,000 trips per day in the early stages of the epidemic.
With worldwide lockdown restrictions easing and passenger confidence restored, activity has recovered to an annual average of around 70,000 flights per day in 2020.
However, this still represents a decrease of 39.1% from 2019. It is
not surprising that hotels in the Middle East recorded the lowest levels of occupancy and revenue per room available, according to end-of-year 2020 data from STR International, a benchmarking company for the hotel industry.
While total occupancy and income levels for the year have fallen to all-time lows, monthly data for December are closer to pre-pandemic levels on each of the three key performance metrics.