MENA Market Overview
Head of hotels, Colliers International MENA Christopher Lund shares his predictions for the regional hospitality sector
The first half of the year has been challenging for the industry. Here, Head of hotels, Colliers International MENA Christopher Lund shares his predictions for what's to come.
The impact of COVID-19
COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on the world economy, with the travel and tourism sector being the hardest hit by the fall-out from the pandemic. The countries in the region suspended all international flights and tourist visas. Most hotels were closed temporarily or were or are acting as isolation centers during this period. And at the time of writing, most countries are currently undergoing either partial or complete lockdown in order to contain the spread of virus.
The road to recovery
Some of the markets in the region have slowly started to ease restrictions, with the opening of hotels, malls, parks and beaches. However, there is still uncertainty in the market regarding the expected performance of hotels. Based on Colliers MENA Hotel Market Survey results, most hotel owners expect the recovery to start in Q4 2020 and continue in 2021. While travel is on hold, the focus for the hotels will be to attract the domestic market (families and solo travellers) in the short term.
The UAE and KSA markets are expected to see a faster recovery in comparison to the other markets in region. The UAE will potentially benefit from the build up to the EXPO with the actual event expected to start in Q4 2021. On the other hand, once the recovery begins, markets in KSA are expected to continue benefiting from the on-going tourism initiatives, upcoming mega projects as well as domestic tourism.