Bouyant hotel figures for Middle East and Asia offsets flat US and Europe

The hotel industry in the Middle East and Asia is buoyant whilst in Europe and North America demand is slackening, according to latest data from Smith Travel Research Global.

“Global data for July followed the same pattern that we have seen all year,” said James Chappell, managing director of STR Global.  “The US and Europe clearly are at a very different stage of the cycle than the other Global regions.“Data for the survey was gathered from more than 36,150 hotels comprising 4.93 million guestrooms worldwide.

Growth in the Middle East/Africa region ranked first in each of the three performance categories - regional rates, occupancy and RevPAR.  Regional rates increased by 29.9 percent in July and measured US$149.57 per night. Middle East/Africa was the only region to post occupancy gains in July. Occupancy was up 3.5 percent to 70.7 percent for the month.  The region recorded robust RevPAR gains of 34.5 percent in July and RevPAR stands at US$105.75 for the month.

European hotels showed ADR growth of 14.1 percent for July, due in part to the U.S. Dollar conversion.  July ADR in Europe was US$166.81.  Occupancies fell 2.3 percent in July to 70.3 percent and RevPAR is up 11.5 percent.  RevPAR at European properties averaged US$117.22 for July.

“European performance fell as the occupancy dipped below levels of 2007 and although Average Rate has been holding up, it wasn’t enough to offset the fall,” added Mr. Chappell.


Performance in the Asia Pacific region relied on strong rate growth - up 14.8 percent in July - to offset declining occupancies.  Average Daily Rate in the region was US$136.52.  July saw Asia Pacific hotel occupancy fall 7.0 percent to 65.4 percent, the worst decline among the four regions.  Nevertheless, Asia Pacific RevPAR gained 6.8 percent in July and stands at US$89.32.

Mr. Chappell explained that the Asia Pacific region is a bright spot among the survey: “The Tiger Economies of Asia, which have been growing strongly from the last two years, continued to post impressive results and the Olympics in August will only boost the year-to-date figures.”

The Americas region lagged in ADR and RevPAR growth. Occupancy fell 1.9 percent in July, buffered by South American gains.  Occupancy in the Americas was 69.4 percent for the month.  Average daily rate was up 2.9 percent in the Americas to US$108.58.  In July, RevPAR in the Americas was the lowest in the STR Global survey at US$75.36 - a 0.9 percent increase for July. 

Performance in the Americas region was weakened by the Caribbean sub-region, which was the only such locale in the survey to record declining rates (down 8.0 percent) and also declining RevPAR (down 9.9 percent) for the month.

Mr. Chappell cautioned further, “Hotel companies will be looking to see if rates will continue to hold as growth rates decline and economic indicators speak of worse to come.”