Bahrain hotel occupancy slumps 25% in May

Bahrain hotel occupancy slumps 25% in May
Published: 27 June 2018 - 6:50 a.m.
By: Louise Birchall

Bahrain's tourism market suffered declines in key performance indicators in May, affected by a Ramadan calendar shift as well as a surplus in new supply, according to analysts STR.

Occupancy slumped by nearly 25% to 40.1% compared to the same month last year, figures showed, revealing a 9.1% in new supply.

STR also said that average daily rates (ADR) for Bahraini hotels fell by 12.4 percent while revenue per available room (RevPAR) plummeted by more than a third.

STR said: "Bahrain reported only 14 days with RevPAR growth in May, most of which came at the end of the month. We note that the country’s year-over-year performance was affected by the Ramadan calendar shift as well as a surplus in new supply.

"The trend of new rooms entering the market is likely to continue as Bahrain currently has 2,184 rooms in construction, roughly 13% of the country’s existing supply."

Earlier this year, Ali Ghunam Murtaza, the director of real estate, tourism and leisure business development at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said Bahrain hopes that the tourism and hospitality sector will contribute "double digits" to its GDP over the next several years.

According to official figures, tourism contributed 6.3% to Bahrain's GDP in 2017.

In the longer term, Murtaza said he hopes that tourism’s contribution to GDP will reach as high as 20%, as much as other sectors such as banking.

Investment in Bahrain’s tourism sector has reached $13 billion, a figure which encompasses 14 separate projects in the country’s tourism and leisure sector.

To encourage more visitors to come to Bahrain, Gulf Air has invested nearly $7.2 billion to expand its fleet, as well as $1.1 billion investments into expanding and improving Bahrain’s national airport.


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