Global Hotel Alliance's Q1 room revenue up 62% as travel industry continues to recover

Hotel brands in the UAE and Maldives sit at top of rankings as domestic stays bounce back to 2019 levels

Dubai's hotels accounted for 14.4 per cent of GHA Discovery's room revenue for the first quarter of 2022. AP
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Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest group of independent hotel brands, reported a 62 per cent increase in room revenue in the first quarter of 2022, on the back of higher spending and longer stays as the travel industry continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic's impact.

The UAE and the Maldives sat at the top of the rankings during the first three months of the year, with GHA hotel brand properties in those markets commanding average room revenue per stay of $1,270 and $8,530, respectively, compared with the global average of $670, UAE-based GHA said on Tuesday.

“What is abundantly clear from the Q1 results is that travel is seeing an encouraging recovery,” said GHA chief executive Chris Hartley.

“Following two years of travel restrictions and uncertainty, pent-up demand for leisure travel has been unleashed and GHA hotel brands are benefitting from the rebound.”

Travel and tourism are starting to show signs of recovery from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, with many companies starting to ramp up their recruitment as countries reopen their borders.

However, high oil prices and the impact of the war in Ukraine are tempering the travel industry’s expected resurgence. Oil prices are hovering above $100 a barrel and are up by about 60 per cent from last year.

Hotels in the UAE hosted 19 million tourists in 2021, the Emirates Tourism Council said last month.

The country’s hotels hosted 29 per cent more visitors last year, compared with 2020, and generated Dh28 billion ($7.6bn) in revenue, a 70 per cent surge from the previous year, the council said.

Domestic tourists accounted for 58 per cent of the total number of guests.

Ten hotels out of the more than 500 included in GHA Discovery, the alliance's loyalty programme, accounted for a third of total room revenue in the first quarter.

Six of those 10 hotels were located in Dubai and the Maldives, with their room revenue accounting for 14.4 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, of total GHA Discovery room revenue for the period.

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Overall, global room revenue in the three months to the end of March exceeded 60 per cent of levels achieved in 2019, before the onset of the pandemic, GHA said.

Meanwhile, total revenue (room and non-room) in the first quarter of this year increased by 76 per cent, in comparison with the corresponding period last year, driven by a 34 per cent and 32 per cent increase in room nights sold and average spend per night, respectively, GHA data showed.

Domestic stays during the first three months of the year rebounded to 2019 levels while international stays only reached 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Higher demand for luxury leisure travel resulted in a surge in spending, with GHA Discovery hotels achieving average daily rates (ADRs) that were 78 per cent higher than in the first quarter of 2021 and 14 per cent higher than in the same period in 2019, the data revealed.

Cross-brand revenue — representing stays from members who enrol with one GHA brand and check in with another — was about 2.5 times higher in the first quarter of 2021, compared with the same period last year, GHA said.

At the best-performing hotels, the occupancy of cross-brand customers grew by 8 per cent.

The alliance’s global portfolio has grown to more than 40 brands, with about 800 properties in 100 countries.

South African hotel group Sun International, with 15 properties, joined GHA in December 2021 while the NH Hotel Group was integrated in June.

Updated: May 10, 2022, 9:49 AM