Makkah Hoteliers Sustain Heavy Losses On H1N1
Makkah hotels and Umrah companies will suffer heavy losses during Ramadan this year because many foreigners are cancelling their pilgrimage plans due to fears over the H1N1 virus. Businessman operating in the Umrah sector asked the Haj Ministry to seek financial compensation from authorities.
One prominent industry representative said hotel cancellations have so far reached 50%. Walid Abu Sabaa said “Occupancy of hotel rooms declined to 30 per cent in the first week of Ramadan, compared to 80 per cent during the same period last year.” Abu Sabaa is the chairman of the Hotel and Tourism Committee at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and owner of a hotel group. He said hotel occupancy rates have declined to 30% during the first week of Ramadan, compared to 80% for the same period last year.
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