Expedia: Demand for three star hotels surges 70%
May 18 – Expedia, the US-based online travel reservation website, said that demand for three star hotel properties increased 70 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. However, data shows that three star hotels accounted for only one third of new properties added in the Middle East last year.
The STR Global Construction Pipeline Report shows that luxury hotels continue to dominate the market and the hotels being planned in the region do not reflect the higher interest in three star properties. The STR report said that economy hotels in the Middle East still account for only 3.5 percent of the hotels planned in the region, although the World Tourism Organization said the economic crisis increased demand for economy hotels by as much as sixteen percent last year.
Kurt Ridder, CEO of the Rezidor Hotel group said here has definitely been a sharp increase in the growth of midscale hotels in the Middle East because the downturn caused property owners to rethink the benefits of owning three start properties. Ridder explained “Historically everyone wanted to be five star and owners’ attitude [was] ‘What would my family tell me if I were to make a mid market hotel, they would look down on me’ but I said ‘do you want money or do you want prestige at the end of the day’ and of course everyone wants money, it goes without saying”.
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