Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Abu Dhabi tax cut; Africa continues metric growth; and more.
Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.
Abu Dhabi cuts tourism tax
Reuters reports officials in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, have decided to “reduce tourism-related fees” after seeing significantly fewer international visitors than neighboring Dubai. The country’s Department of Culture & Tourism announced plans to drop tourism fees from 6% to 3.5%.
“The tourism sector is a key alternative to oil,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash, under-secretary of DCT.. “It is necessary to support this sector as it experiences difficulties to allow it to contribute to the achievement of future goals.”
Middle East metrics drop as Africa climbs
While often viewed collectively, the Middle East and Africa have diverged in terms of hotel operating metrics of late, according to data from HNN’s parent company STR. Here’s a look at how the two regions fared in January.
Middle East: Revenue per available room fell 9.6% year over year to $105.16 as occupancy dropped 0.9% to 68.2% and average daily rate decreased 8.9% to $154.18.
Africa: RevPAR was up 2.4% to $64.06, with ADR up 2.1% to $120.06 and occupancy increased 0.3% to 53.4%.
Quality the focus for Indian Ocean investors
Reporting from the Gulf & Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit, HNN’s Terence Baker writes investors still believe markets like The Maldives, Oman and Mauritius are driven by the quality of their high-end offerings.
“We concentrate on premium as the mass will follow that,” said Zoltan Kali, SVP of assets and fund management of Oman-based Omran Hospitality.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.