• Quartier Suisse Hotel

The average occupancy rate of hotels in Beirut at 42.3% in 2021

The average occupancy rate of hotels – 4 and 5 stars – in Beirut in 2021 is 42.3%, compared to 24.9% the year before, placing the Lebanese capital in 8th position out of the 14 capitals of the region assessed in the Ernst & Young (E&Y) study, relayed by Byblos Bank's Lebanon This Week, and facing a regional average of 49.4%.

In 2020, a year marked by the worsening of the crisis in Lebanon, the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the explosion at the capital's port on August 4, Beirut was in last position in this ranking, losing 49.5 percentage points. In 2021, the city gained 17.5 percentage points, while the regional average lost 11.5 percentage points year-on-year.

With a start to 2021 slowed down by the restrictive measures imposed by the authorities between January and March to counter the resurgence of the pandemic, January and February mark a lower occupancy rate for Beirut hotels than the following months, with respectively 29 and 17%.

The best month of the year is unsurprisingly July with a rate of 76%, when many expatriates on vacation return to the country. A return habit at Christmas also which has not had the desired effect this year, in particular due to the pandemic. December thus notes only 40.2% hotel occupancy.

Regarding the average rate per room for the year 2021, this amounted to 39 dollars, one of the lowest in the region and a drop of 74.8% compared to the average cost of 155 dollars in 2020. The authors of the report specified that they used the exchange rate between the Lebanese pound and the dollar used by hotels when making reservations.

Officially set at 1,507.5 pounds per dollar, this rate has since the start of the crisis fluctuated enormously on the parallel market, trading there at nearly 30,000 pounds per dollar at the end of last year. The regional average of the average rate per room for the year 2021 is 138.1 dollars, up 1.7% on an annual basis (135.7 dollars in 2020). Last December, the average room rate was $73, up from $217 the year before. It was also $73 in August 2021, up from $195 the year before.

Finally, the average revenue per room, calculated according to the aforementioned methodology, reached $17 in 2021, the lowest rate in the region, compared to $39 in 2020. This average shows a drop of 57.2% in 2021. , also constituting the only drop in the region. Last December, these revenues were $29, compared to $88 in December 2020, while last August, they were $43, compared to $76 the year before.

Regionally, it is still Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) which wins the prize for the highest occupancy rate of its hotels in 2021 with a score of 77.8%, while its neighbor Dubai generated both the most highest average room rate ($272) and highest average room rate ($173).

Source: OLJ / March 21, 2022