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2004 HotelBenchmark Global Ranking Index by Deloitte

The hotel market hall of fame…

For the second year in a row, Venice was the best performing market in 2004 in terms of revenue per available room (revPAR) according to the HotelBenchmark Global Ranking Index (GRI). The GRI compares the performance of 165 global cities outside North America on an annual basis.
When taking a look at the top 20 cities in the Global Ranking Index in terms of revPAR, Europe dominated with 13 of its markets claiming the honour. Two European cities - Athens and Edinburgh - appear for the first time at positions 15 and 18 respectively. The Asia Pacific region also dominates with five cities featuring in the top 20. Of these Sydney appears for the first time at number 20 and Hong Kong has returned following its absence in 2003 to gain 17th spot.

Markets in the Middle East claimed the remaining two top 20 positions, though Kuwait City lost ground dropping from two to number five. This was expected after the spectacular performance of the market in 2003 due to the presence of military personnel and media during the Iraq War.

Interestingly when looking at the top 20 markets in terms of occupancy, the Global Ranking Index paints a completely different picture, with only five markets appearing in the top 20 for both revPAR and occupancy. Dubai took the top occupancy GRI spot for the first time and Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Tokyo and London joined Dubai to make appearances in both rankings.

In the occupancy GRI Asia Pacific dominates, taking ten spots. Increased international demand combined with ever increasing intra-regional travel fuelled by the growth of low cost airlines, has driven occupancy levels in the region upwards. Egypt also claimed two top spots with Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada appearing for the first time. The recent investment made by Egypt, Australia and New Zealand in promoting their destinations is clearly paying off, as a number of these markets have significantly moved up the rankings since 2000. The best improver is Sharm El-Sheikh which has moved up 116 places since 2000 to take the number ten spot in 2004.


Commenting on the results Julia Felton, Executive Director of HotelBenchmark at Deloitte said: “The lacklustre performance that has held back the hotel industry for the past three years finally came to an end in 2004, as trading conditions improved. Dramatic increases in economic growth and international visitor numbers gave the tourism industry a welcome boost, as travellers defied the threat of terrorism and high oil prices. 2005 looks encouraging, as pent-up demand continues to emerge but there are already signs that growth is decelerating in some major economies. Its also debatable whether Venice can keep its crown in 2005, as leisure tourists are fickle and are faced with more options than ever before on where to spend their time and money”.

Other main findings

Paris moved back to the number two revPAR GRI slot, despite always featuring within the top five rankings, this is the city’s best performance in the last five years.
London has enjoyed a remarkable comeback ranking number four, sitting just below its position at number three in 2000.

Moscow enjoyed its third year in the top 20 revPAR GRI. It has the second highest revPAR growth of all the top 20 cities since 2000 and has increased its ranking by five places over 2003.

Madrid was one of the few cities to drop out of the top 20 revPAR since 2003, though at number 24 in 2004, the city is in good position to return in the future.

Tokyo is continuing to move away from the number two position achieved in 2000 and 2001, ranking number seven in the revPAR GRI in 2004.

Central and South American markets have experienced the sharpest declines in the GRI, with many cities falling over 100 places since 2000.

Oceania and South African markets dominated the list of the largest revPAR growth since 2000, the ranking of markets in these regions increased substantially, ranging from 20 to 60 spots on the revPAR GRI.

Middle Eastern markets have improved occupancy rankings considerably and boast four markets in the top 20 occupancy GRI including the top two spots - Dubai and Hurghada.