Manama hotels see big occupancy rises in January

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Hotel operators in Manama, Bahrain, reported the largest occupancy increases of any city in the Middle East and Africa in January, according to latest data.

Figures released this week by STR Global revealed that the Bahrain city, where tourism has been badly hit since the outbreak of social and political unrest in early 2011, saw occupany rise 40 percent last month compared to the same month in 2012.

However, the 40 percent increase only took the total occupancy rate to 56.6 percent, well below the rate seen in neighbouring Gulf countries such as Oman and Saudi Arabia.

According to STR Global, Muscat, Oman also experienced strong occupancy growth in January - up 14.9 percent to 67.9 percent.

The figures also showed that hotels in Manama saw significant rises in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in January.

RevPAR increased 39.8 percent to $120.39, the Middle East and Africa's biggest rise.

Other highlights in January, STR Global said, included average daily rates in Jeddah which rose 14 percent to $241.24, the largest increase in that metric.

Overall, the Middle East/Africa region reported an 8.2 percent increase in occupancy to 59.8 percent, a 1.3 percent increase in average daily rate to $182.81 and a 9.6 percent increase in revenue per available room to $109.29.

"The entire region posted a 9.6 percent increase in RevPAR for the first month of 2013 and was the best global performer in RevPAR percent change," said Elizabeth Randall Winkle, managing director of STR Global.

"The Middle East is growing in both occupancy and ADR. Whilst still recovering in occupancy, the ADR in the African nations is still suffering as a result of continued political turmoil."

Hotel operators in Dubai and Jeddah posted healthy full-year increases in room rates and revenues for 2012, according to latest data released by STR Global.

Both Gulf cities reported double digit rises in revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the year while they also posted the biggest increases in average daily rates (ADR) in the Middle East and Africa region.

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