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Middle Eastern country tourism ministers recently considered the importance of tourism’s labour market performance.

H.E. Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, CEO, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), recently headed Bahrain’s delegation at 44th Meeting of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for the Middle East.

Air Cairo has commenced flights between Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and Naples, Italy.

Hotstats’ latest report MENA Chain Hotels Market Review June 2017 has indicated a challenging month for hotels across the region and in Abu Dhabi, while Sharm El Sheikh reported remarkable growth.

Ramadan Affected MENA Hotel Performance

While hotels in the MENA region achieved an overall year-on-year increase of 2.9 percent in gross operating profit per available room to USD44.55 in June, the impact of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr meant that performance levels were some of the lowest in the past 12 months.


Most notably, occupancies across the region plummeted to 47.9 percent, well below the rolling average of 63.6 percent record in the 12 months to June. Doha and Kuwait particularly suffered with occupancy of 42.1 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively.


Compared to June 2016, RevPAR jumped 3.5 percent to USD88.84, while total RevPAR rose 1.7 percent to USD163.60.

Yet, profit per room the month was 44.7 percent below the average for the 12 months to June, at USD80.68.


Abu Dhabi Continued to Suffer

In June, hoteliers in Abu Dhabi recorded a monthly five-year low in RevPAR, which stood at USD49.96, 48.7 percent below the average for the previous 12 months, and a drop of 0.7 percent in year-on-year comparisons.


Occupancy was 51 percent, while total RevPAR fell 8.1 percent to USD109.61.

Despite a 16.6 percent increase in gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) over June 2016, properties across the capital reported a loss of USD5.09.


The month punctuated a challenging six months for hotels across the emirate, with year-to-date declines in key metrics, including a 13.8 percent decline in GOPPAR to USD51.71, resulting in profit conversion falling to just 28.1 percent of total revenue in the first half of the year.


Sharm El Sheikh Welcomed Influx of Tourists

Thanks to a surge in both Arab and domestic visitors in June properties in Sharm El Sheikh achieved a 324.1 percent year-on-year climb in RevPAR to USD12.13, led by a 13.8 percentage point increase in occupancy to 30.1 percent.


The uplift in volume also facilitated growth in non-rooms revenue, including a 175.3 percent jump in food and beverage, which contributed to the 239.3 percent boost in total RevPAR to USD20.22.


Despite these exceptional results, revenue levels were not sufficient to outweigh the high costs which meant hotels in the resort town recorded an USD1.50 loss in gross operating profit per available room for the reviewed month.

Tamer Refaat has been named as the new director of sales and marketing at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Citystars.

Although hotels in Sharm El Sheikh achieved a 57 percent year-on-year boost in total revenue in February, profit per room remained in negative territory, with a loss of USD1.33.

Hotstats has released its latest report, MENA Chain Hotels Market Review February 2017, revealing mixed results across the region, with effective cost cutting in Abu Dhabi, falling revenue in Doha and signs of recovery in Sharm El Sheikh.

EGYPT'S TOURISM INDUSTRY HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED IN RECENT YEARS, WITH FURTHER EUROPEAN FLIGHTS BEING REINTRODUCED, MOHAMMAD LABBAN, GENERAL MANAGER, HYATT REGENCY SHARM EL SHEIKH, OFFERS AN INSIGHT INTO THE CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS.

Marriott International signed a management agreement with Latif Group of Companies to bring The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm el-Sheikh Resort to the Sinai Peninsula.

Profit per room at hotels in Sharm El Sheikh was recorded at just USD0.50 in April, a 97.9 percent decline from the same period in 2015, with year-to date GOPPAR at minus USD2.85, a 116.7 percent slide on 2015 performance of USD17.04.