Savills has released its latest research on the Egyptian hotel industry. The Egypt Hotel Market Spotlight highlights that a bounce-back in tourism has sparked significant hotel sector growth. Government-led marketing schemes, new infrastructure and improved security measures have provided a boost to tourism in Egypt, resulting in a 16.5% growth to the country’s tourism market in 2018 (according to the World Travel and Tourism Council).
Indeed, 11.6 million overseas visitors took a trip to Egypt in 2018, up 40% from the 8.3 million arrivals in 2017. Travel and tourism is a key economic driver providing employment to more than 2.5mn people and constituting close to 11% of the Egyptian GDP. As such, the Egyptian government has implemented a new strategy to boost tourism, including new security protocols and the re-opening of flight connections to major source markets including Russia and Eastern Europe. With two new airports set to open over the next two years, this connectivity will continue to improve.
Aided by the tourism sector’s recovery, as well as political stability and a more robust economic outlook, Egypt’s overall GDP is set to grow on average by 5.35% per annum to 2023.
“After a few challenging years, the figures for the hospitality market in Egypt are really encouraging and with Cairo and the Red Sea back on the radar for international tourists, as well as the huge potential that the North Coast provides, the current time provides the perfect opportunity for international investors to take advantage,” said Catesby Langer-Paget, Savills’ Head of Egypt.
For hotels, this boost in tourism has significantly improved operational performance. The Cairo and Giza submarkets significantly outpaced the wider Africa and Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) regions, in both occupancy and average daily rate. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 23.1% year-on-year. Occupancy wise, Cairo reached figures of 72.5% on average for the year, the highest experienced since 2008. This was boosted by a significant proportion of corporate travel into the capital, with business travellers now accounting for 67% of the city’s hospitality market demand.
New additions to the hotel market have been absorbed efficiently across Egypt, which Savills sees as particularly positive given the level of stock growth within the region. Cairo now has 18,800 rooms with major international groups investing in the city, including the Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi Towers, which comprises two towers of 23 floors (residential and five-star hotel). Savills projects further hotel stock growth as these large hotel groups invest in the capital, such as IHG which is scheduled to introduce a 187-room Crowne Plaza hotel in Sheikh Zayed City (West Cairo), set to open in 2021. These hotels will be fuelled by international visitors but also by the domestic tourism market. With population set to increase by 8.8% to over 108mn people by 2023, domestic tourism spend will also be a significant driver for hotels in the coming years.
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