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Fri 13 May 2016 12:06 AM

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Rate of decline in Doha hotel revenues speeds up in Q1

New data says revenue per available room decreased by 20.4% in Q1 as occupancy also slumps 7.5%

Rate of decline in Doha hotel revenues speeds up in Q1
(AFP/Getty Images)

The rate of decline in top line revenue performance at Doha hotels has accelerated in the first three months of 2016, according to the latest data from HotStats.

It said year-on-year revenue per available room (RevPAR) decreased by 20.4 percent in Q1, with declines in room occupancy (-7.5 percent) further exacerbated by falling average room rate (-12.3 percent).

HotStats data showed that this is much worse than the 4.6 percent year-on-year decline in RevPAR recorded in Q4 2015.

For the month of March, RevPAR dropped by 13.3 percent year-on-year, to $161.02 from $185.64.

While Doha hoteliers successfully reduced overhead costs by 2.8 percent for the month, payroll costs increased by 0.2 percent to $84.79 per available room, or 22.7 percent of total revenue, the data also showed.

As a result of the movement in revenue and costs, profit per room fell by 11.5 percent for the month, contributing to the 20.3 percent year-on-year decline in Q1.

While Doha hosted OPEC discussions which planned to freeze the production of oil in order to stabilise pricing, the collapse of the talks has coincided with the continued decline in oil prices, suggesting hotels in Qatar's capital will face a challenging operating environment throughout 2016, HotStats added.

In February, it was reported that Qatar's tourism receipts are forecast to grow to $7.2 billion by 2025 as the Gulf state looks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas over the next decade.

The country's tourism sector is set to grow annually by 4.7 percent after travel and tourism is estimated to have contributed $4.6 billion for 2015, a rise of 7.3 percent over the previous year.

Qatar's tourism industry is building momentum as it enters the second half of the decade, with an ambitious target of four million visitors by 2020, supported by $40-45 billion worth of sector investment under the country's National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 plan.

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