Alpen Capital (ME) Limited announced the publication of its GCC Hospitality Industry Report as a part of its Industry Research services. Other recent reports from Alpen Capital have covered the GCC Pharmaceutical, Education, Takaful, Retail, Insurance, Healthcare, Cement, and Petrochemical industries.

“Our report studies the Hospitality sector in the GCC with a focus on the hotel industry room availability and room revenues, its growth, performance and outlook for next few years”, says Sameena Ahmad, Managing Director at Alpen Capital. She continues, “Our outlook for the hospitality industry remains positive as the industry bears a strong correlation with the healthy GDP growth projected for the region and there are several strong growth drivers for the industry.”

“The GCC Hospitality industry has several investment merits as the travel and tourism industry is slowly grabbing the attention of potential investors”, says Sanjay Vig, Managing Director at Alpen Capital. He continues,” The growth in the sector is catalyzed by several government initiatives in infrastructure projects, bids for global sports events, commitment to diversifying the economy and initiative to stimulate the private sector.”

The GCC Hospitality Industry Outlook

Alpen Capital’s latest report on the GCC Hospitality Industry estimates that room revenues for the GCC hotel industry for the years 2012, and 2015 will stand at approximately US$ 22 billion and US$ 27 billion respectively growing at a rate of 11% from 2010. Saudi Arabia and UAE are the two biggest markets in the region with 89% share jointly.

In the report, Alpen Capital also projects optimistic and pessimistic scenarios for the room revenues based on different levels of room supply and tourist arrivals.

The report estimates that the GCC Hospitality Industry performance as measured by annualized Revenue Per Available room (RevPAR) will stabilize at around US$ 173 during 2012 to 2015. Average Daily rate (ADR) for the region will firm up to US$ 257, while occupancy rates will be around 67% for the same period. It is important to note that ADR and RevPAR in GCC are highest amongst global sub-regions.

The GCC Hospitality industry is currently trading at a P/E of 15x average which makes it very attractive in comparison to its global peers.

The growing importance of sports tourism with many sporting events such as the Dubai Desert Classic, Formula 1 Grand Prix being hosted in the region as well as Qatar winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup will have a positive impact on the industry. Events based tourism as well as niche tourism offerings such as cultural & heritage tourism, and diving and wild-life oriented tourism will also help in promoting the industry. The GCC governments are very supportive of their free trade and encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) and globalization. The increase in investment in the aviation sectors by the GCC countries in order to become a global hub for passengers and cargo with an aim to link various growth markets is also a promising factor.

Challenges

One of the main factors impacting the industry is the wave of political unrest and uncertainty across parts of the GCC region as well as the larger MENA region, which may negatively impact tourist arrivals. Several other factors such as oversupply of hotel rooms, high employee turnover, rising cost of construction as well as availability of project financing are some of the other challenges for the industry.

Despite these factors, the outlook for the GCC Hospitality industry remains positive for 2011 – 2015 due to the strong growth drivers.