Ongoing surveillance for the Covid-19 pandemic by government entities and other key tourism players has helped determine how markets open and close
Hotel occupancy rates in the Middle East and North Africa region continue to improve amid easing travel restrictions, Colliers said in its latest report, while warning that controlled and consistent growth is the key to recovery.
In its August Mena – August 2021 hotel market forecast, the global commercial real estate services company said improved hospitality performance in key markets is also needed to support the recovery. âAs we move forward into 2021, we are starting to see several markets building on the recovery that began in the fourth quarter of 2020. Ongoing surveillance for the Covid-19 pandemic by government entities and other key tourism players has informed how markets open and close. “
The report says Sharjah has achieved an average monthly increase of four percent in occupancy rate over the past 12 months. âAlthough the recovery rate slowed in the second quarter of 2021, the core strategy of leveraging the domestic market has been key to this recovery as inbound visits improve,â he said.
In the United Arab Emirates, The Palm Jumeirah hotels will see the biggest improvement in occupancy rates in 2021, rising from 61% to 69%, with Abu Dhabi beach showing the smallest improvement from 18% to 56% .
Initial data released by UAE tourism authorities revealed that the country’s hotel sector had a strong rebound in the first quarter with hotel occupancy rates across the emirates reaching 63%, underscoring the remarkable success of the national vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
The country’s rebounding hotel sector, which has established itself as the second most active in the world after China in 2020, recorded in the first quarter a 27.6% increase in the average length of stay in hotels to 4 , 3 nights compared to the same period last year.
In Saudi Arabia, a restricted Hajj observance in 2021, limited to 60,000 pilgrims from within the kingdom, resulted in a significant drop in demand in holy cities. Riyadh’s market improved, driven by demand for four-star hotels and lower-ranked five-star hotels, which contributed to an improved outlook for the year as a whole.
Jeddah is expected to see the largest increase from 39% to 54%, with Al Khobar the smallest increase from 4% to 56%. In Bahrain, new entry restrictions in 19 additional countries have had a significant impact on the upturn in inbound tourism. However, the Bahrain market is still expected to register a 53% year-over-year improvement in 2021, Colliers said.
In Egypt, the return of demand from Gulf residents has benefited the Cairo market with an expected occupancy increase of 112% in Hurghada to 51%. In combination with the recovery of the Commonwealth of Independent States market, a sustained recovery is expected in all hotel markets, according to the report.