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Occupancy at high-end Beirut hotels drops to 54 pct in 2012

Four Points Hotel is seen in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 28, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Occupancy at Beirut’s top-end hotels fell to 54 percent in 2012, compared to 58 percent last year, according to the Ernst & Young Middle East hotel benchmark survey.

The decline was the steepest among 19 markets in the MENA region, where the average occupancy rate increased 3.7 percent. Beirut hotels’ occupancy rate was the fourth lowest in the region.

The average occupancy rate at Beirut hotels reached its lowest in July 2012 at 34 percent before recovering to 52 percent in December.

The survey said that the average rate per room at Beirut hotels was $193 in 2012, ranking the capital’s hotels as one of the least expensive in the region. The average rate per room decreased 13.3 percent year-on-year, posting the second steepest decrease among all markets in the region.

Revenues per available room in 2012 stood at $106, down from $131 in 2011, a 19.1 percent decrease year-on-year, compared to an increase of 3.6 percent across the region, putting Beirut in 11th place regionally.

The hotel benchmark report provides a monthly performance overview of leading hotels in the Middle East, including international branded and operated properties across the five-star and four-star segments.

The Lebanese Hotel Owners Association estimates sector-wide occupancy rates in 2012 was below 40 percent as hotels outside the capital saw a steep decline in activity.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 11, 2013, on page 5.

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