Hospitality Vision, Middle East Performance Review
Striking a balance
2008 was a remarkable year for the Middle East when it celebrated its fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in revenue per available room (revPAR) and the number of tourists travelling to the region increased more rapidly than anywhere else in the world. However, the financial woes of the rest of the world caught up with the Middle East and hotel performance dipped into the red during December – down 3.2 percent.
In 2009, with many countries now in recession, consumer and business spending is in sharp decline, with less available for travel. As a result, tourism’s contribution to world gross domestic product is expected to contract by 3.6 percent this year. Despite the global recession, air traffic continues to rise in the Middle East – up 1.7 percent in the first two months of 2009 - the only region still experiencing growth. Even though the weakening economy here and across major source markets is now hurting hoteliers, there are still some notable success stories.
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