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MidEast, Africa hoteliers downbeat on H2, says survey

The Middle East and Africa was the only region in the world to register negative sentiment about hotel performance in the first half of the year, a new survey has said.

The Horwath HTL Global Hotel Market Sentiment Survey focused on the outlook for occupancy, average room rate and total revenue while hoteliers were also asked to share their expectations for the second half of 2011. While hoteliers in Oceania were most upbeat about H1 performance, counterparts in Europe, the Americas and Asia also reported a positive score on the sentiment index.

However, the survey showed a negative score for the Middle East and Africa for both H1 performance and outlook for H2. The survey gathered responses across 50 countries. Of the 1,592 respondents, eight percent were from the Middle East and Africa.

“The sentiment of hoteliers across all world regions has moderated indicating that the prevailing global economic uncertainty continues to impact hotel performance and subdue the outlook of hoteliers. Nevertheless all hoteliers, except those in Africa and the Middle East, remain optimistic,” the survey said.

Oceania, with a sentiment score of 38, has the most positive outlook followed by Asia with a sentiment score of 22. Europe has a slightly more positive sentiment than the Americas while Africa and the Middle East recorded a negative sentiment score of -6. Globally, the survey showed 46 percent of hoteliers said that occupancy in the first half of 2011 was better or much better than expected while 34 percent felt that occupancy performance was worse or much worse than expected.

On a question about the impact of global financial crisis on the hotel industry, Africa and the Middle East region’s negative score of 40 was heavily weighed down by South Africa with a negative score of 54, in spite of a positive score of 25 recorded by the UAE, the survey added. The survey showed that all regions posted lower scores than the previous survey, indicating the levels of uncertainty in the markets.

It said the outlook for the second half of 2011 appeared more optimistic with hoteliers in Europe and Africa and the Middle East indicating occupancy was expected to be the driver of growth in the second half of 2011, as the aftershocks of the Arab Spring settle.


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