Gov't tourism initiatives boost UAE hotels in August

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Hotels in Abu Dhabi posted a 31.3 percent growth in revenue per available room (RevPar) in August, a survey of the region's hospitality markets said on Sunday.

According to the latest HotStats survey of full service hotels by TRI Hospitality Consulting, demand was elevated by successful government-initiated tourism promotions last month.

Average occupancy at four and five star chain hotels in the city reached 63.1 percent, growing by 12.4 percent, the survey said.

It added that average room rates (ARR) increased to $112.12, up by 5.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

As a result, RevPAR for the month increased by 31.3 percent to $70.74 while total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) increased by 24.2 percent to $159.00.

The effect of a 7.7 percent rise in payroll costs drove gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) up from the previous year to $13.21.

Peter Goddard, managing director of TRI Hospitality Consulting in Dubai, said: "SummerFest Abu Dhabi is a summer promotion initiated by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority intended to increase the number of visitors from within the region.

"The authorities announced a five week extension on the Thrilling Stays hotel deal that offers entry to Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World on Yas Island. Over 40 hotels were involved in this family-orientated package that continued to raise the city's profile as a regional leisure destination."

He added that hotels in Dubai also saw positive performance as the city hosted a plethora of events and activities surrounding the Eid in Dubai campaign, in addition to the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

The Eid Al Fitr weekend recorded stronger occupancy and average rates than those seen during the corresponding period of 2012 and elevated performance for the remainder of August, the survey showed.

An 11.3 percent rise in ARR to $228.99 coupled with an 8.5 percent rise in occupancy to 71.3 percent drove RevPAR up by 26.4 percent to $163.35 during the month.

A 20.1 percent growth in TrevPAR drove a 98.3 percent increase in GOPPAR to $70.63.

Goddard added: "Eid in Dubai marked the culmination of the second phase of the Summer is Dubai campaign that resulted in a substantial growth in visitor numbers, primarily driven by regional demand.

"The overall growth witnessed throughout the city is also attributed to Dubai diversifying its entertainment offering to attract visitors through a vast array of shows and events."

The Eid holidays also benefitted the Kuwait hotel market through increased leisure demand generated from domestic and Saudi visitors.

Occupancy increased 3.4 percent to 37 percent while ARR grew 12 percent to $271.72, causing a 23.3 percent increase in RevPAR during the month.

Despite low occupancy levels, average rates for the month of August exceeded year-to-date levels of $269.48, illustrating the strength of the unofficial rate agreement on the market.

The survey said that coupled with a decline in payroll costs, the rise in revenues filtered through to the bottom line, with GOPPAR increasing 61 percent to $86.54.

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