RIYADH: Riyadh’s hotel occupancy rate hit 75.5 percent in February, the highest figure since 2008 according to preliminary data from hotel industry monitoring firm STR.
All three key performance metrics – occupancy, average daily rate, and the revenue per available room – recorded higher figures in comparison to the pre-pandemic levels back in 2019.
Compared to 2019, the occupancy jumped 23.4 percent, the average daily rate rose 34 percent to SR801.46 ($213.46), and the revenue per available room increased 65.3 percent to at SR605.06, according to the analytics firm, which is a division of CoStar Group.
The data also revealed that the market recorded an occupancy rate of over 90 percent for three consecutive days – Feb. 6 to Feb. 8 – which was mainly attributed to the International Conference and Exhibition for Science.
Back in January, hotel pipeline activity in the Middle East and Africa bucked a global trend by seeing an uptick at the end of 2022, according to data released by STR.
The figures show that in December, 238,635 hotel rooms were under contract in the region, a 1.1 percent rise on the same month in 2021.
That increase was in contrast to all other regions, with Europe posting a decline of 11.2 percent, Asia Pacific seeing a 5.4 percent drop and the Americas registering a 3.2 percent fall.
Leading the way in hotel room construction in the Middle East and Africa was Saudi Arabia, accounting for 40,742. The UAE was second, with 27,456 rooms.
The developments in Saudi Arabia are in keeping with the Kingdom’s goal to attract 100m visitors to its borders by the end of the decade as part of its Vision 2030 plan.
Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh last October, Gloria Guevara – the chief special advisor to the Minister of Tourism – said Saudi Arabia was making the most of its natural “assets”, such as the Red Sea, in a bid to boost the fledgling sector.
Established in 1985, STR’s mission is to provide solutions through best data, to expand benchmarking possibilities, to drive industry standards, and to encourage evolved thinking about data.