Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: Interest rates spike in Turkey; Airbnb booming in Africa; and more.
Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.
Alternative accommodations flourishing in Africa
Countries like Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique are among the fastest growing destinations for alternative-accommodations platform Airbnb, according to a report from Quartz. The report notes that the platform seems to be popular among African travelers because it offers an affordable alternative to “luxury hotels and resorts.”
“Affordable lodging is one less worry for African travelers who typically face significant challenges traveling across the continent given complex visa processes and expensive flights,” the news agency reports.
Interest rates on the rise in Turkey
Despite protests from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s central bank is raising its benchmark interest rate to 24% from 17.75%, according to The New York Times. The move is being made to help combat the country’s recent economic woes and the declining value of its currency, the lira.
“Turkey’s recent economic problems have been so stark that only drastic measures could stabilize the lira and reverse an eye-popping 18% surge in inflation, economists said,” according to the newspaper. “But Mr. Erdogan, who is widely seen as trying to influence the independent central bank, has signaled an unwillingness to allow even modest rate increases or curb government spending that has fueled a popular growth boom—as well as runaway prices.”
Jeddah sees strong growth in August
Preliminary data from HNN’s parent company STR shows a strong combination of average daily rate and occupancy combined for double-digit growth in revenue per available room in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for the month of August.
Occupancy increased 9.7% to 73.4% year over year as ADR increased 9.6% to 1,350.97 Saudi Arabian riyals ($364.76), combining for a 20.3% increase in RevPAR to 991.76 riyals ($267.78). These mark the highest rate and revenue levels ever recorded by STR for the market in an August.
Deals and development
- The 285-key Millennium Resort Salalah opened in Oman.
- Indian Hotels Company has signed a deal with Ithra Dubai to open a 200-room Taj property in the Deira Waterfront Development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The hotel is slated to open in 2022.
- The 420-key Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport opened near the Dubai International Airport, marking the first Hampton property in the Middle East. The hotel is also the largest for the Hampton brand.
- Sarovar Hotels announced a deal for a luxury hotel branded as the Yeha Hotel in Axum, Ethopia. The property is expected to open with 78 rooms in 2019 then expand to 222 by 2021.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.