Bahrain hotel sector one of hardest-hit in Middle East
The capital city Manama has seen occupancy drop 45 percent
Recent reports have shown that Bahrain is one of the hardest-hit Middle Eastern countries in terms of its hospitality sector. The country’s hotels have been dealing with double-digit drops in occupancy since the virus took hold, with other KPIs spiralling.
The latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly issued by the Finance and National Economy Ministry in June said tourism was the hardest hit sector during the first quarter of 2020. The estimated gross value added in the hotels and restaurants sector fell by an annual 36 percent, it said.
Statistics from Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority for Q1 2020 point to a sharp 47 percent decline in the number of tourists, a 49.5 percent decline in total tourist nights and a 55.4 percent decline in total tourism expenditure.
Occupancy rates in five star hotels fell to 43 percent, down from 53 percent a year ago, with four star hotels seeing a similar decline to 36 percent from 46 percent a year ago.
Gulf Hotels Group chairman Farouk Almoayyed revealed the industry’s second quarter hasn’t improved much. He said: “The hospitality industry worldwide is one of the worst affected from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, various travel and quarantine restrictions together with restrictions on normal hotel, restaurant, health club and spa operations have had a significant impact on the group’s operations and profitability.”
In Colliers International’s recent MENA Hotels Quarterly Review it was shown that Bahrain’s occupancy rates have seen some of the greatest drops in the region. In Manama, occupancy has dropped by 45% in Q2 2020 compared to the same point last year, worse than Kuwait City, Muscat Amman and Saudi Arabia’s and UAE’s major cities.
Only Egypt’s capital city and seaside destinations reported higher occupancy drops than Manama.