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Middle East and Africa hotel occupancy improves while 2010 finishes

The Middle East and Africa has seen significant improvements in its hotel occupancy levels during November 2010 as the number of travellers booking United Arab Emirates and Egypt holidays increases.

Middle East and Africa hotel occupancy improves while 2010 finishes

November 2010 has seen a significant increase in hotel occupancy levels across the Middle East and Africa region, with the number of travellers booking Egypt holidays coming out on top.

According to data compiled by STR Global, the Middle East and Africa region saw a 69.8 percent increase in hotel occupancy overall and revenue per room saw a 5.5 percent increase.

Managing Director of STR Global, Elizabeth Randall, said: "The Middle East/Africa region hasn't seen as much recovery as the other regions.

"New room stock entering the markets across the Middle East is the main stumbling block to a higher growth rate. Whilst we saw only limited year-to-date improvements in all key performance indicators, the region achieved a higher average rate by US$0.39 compared to year-to-date 2008. Occupancy, however, is 8.4 percentage points behind year-to-date 2008".

An increase was also seen in Abu Dhabi holidays and hotels experienced the largest occupancy increase, rising 33.6 percent to 76.0 percent during November.

Despite the overall increase in the Middle East region, occupancy levels and revenue dropped across Dubai hotels. Egypt holidays still continue to be one of the most popular choices for travellers despite a series of recent shark attacks in the Sharm el Sheikh resort which left four tourists injured and one German tourist dead earlier this month.

The Red Sea resort is urging travellers from all over the world to continue booking their holidays to the beautiful region and officials and environmentalists have been working closely together to understand why these rare attacks occurred. Beaches are now once again open to the public and the government and tourism officials have announced that business is open as usual.

The sharks attacked a German female tourist whilst she was snorkeling in the Sharm el Sheikh resort at the beginning of December. George Burgess, expert in Shark attacks, believe that the attacks could be down to a number of reasons including the recent disposal of sheep carcasses into the ocean by an Australian ship, which brought the sharks into shallow waters. Mr. Burgess believes the most obvious reason to him is that the Great White shark involved was injured and therefore not able to hunt its normal pray.

"It is something we are looking at here," Mr. Burgess explained. "Was this just a shark that made a couple of errors of judgment or decided that humans were ok, or was it an act of desperation by a shark trying to make a living in order to survive?"

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