Shopping Festivals Bring In Tourists

Hotels in Dubai and Jeddah saw occupancy levels rising in January 2012, according to TRI Hospitality Consulting.

Shopping festivals helped boost revenues and profits for hotels in Dubai and Jeddah during January 2012, according to the latest HotStats survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting.

Four and five star chain hotels in Dubai saw occupancy rates reach 87.7 per cent and Average Room Rate (ARR) touch $327.41 during the month as the city hosted the 17th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). The citywide Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) rose by 15.8 per cent to reach $287.25, the report said.

“I believe that Dubai hotels will continue to see strong performance levels during 2012,” said Peter Goddard, managing director of TRI Hospitality Consulting in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi hotels reported a 10.3 percentage point growth in occupancy in January, with overall occupancy rates reaching 74 per cent. However, the ARR for the month dropped to $164.23 compared to $188.01 for the same period in 2011.

“The growing competition in the city, which caused the rates to decline by as much as 19.3 per cent last year alone, is likely to keep the pressure on performance in 2012 as more than 2,500 hotel rooms are expected to open in the city during the year,” said Goddard.

“Our research indicates that the drop in average rates is not confined to five or four star hotel markets, but the rate competition has had a contagious effect across all hotel categories from upscale to budget hotels and hotel apartments,” he said.

In Saudi Arabia, occupancy levels in Jeddah’s hotels touched 75.5 per cent, and ARR increased by 15.2 per cent to $217.43 during the month, boosting RevPAR by 35.2 per cent to $164.04.

The report attributed the growth in hotel performance to the inaugural Jeddah Shopping Festival, also known as Hayya Jeddah 2012, which began on 18th January. According to the event organisers, the month-long festival was hoping to attract over a million visitors to the city.

“The Saudi Commission for Tourism and the local authorities are undertaking numerous initiatives to develop tourism, mainly focusing on attracting domestic travellers. Some of these programs, such as the Jeddah Shopping Festival, are showing results,” said Goddard.

In Riyadh, however, hotels saw a dip in overall performance during the month as average occupancy dropped by two percentage points to 61.5 per cent, ARR declined by 7.6 per cent to $258.29 and RevPAR saw a 10.5 per cent drop.