Reopening causeway ‘vital for Bahrain's hospitality sector’

REOPENING King Fahad Causeway, linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is vital to boosting the country’s already impacted hospitality sector.

This was highlighted by UK-based HotStats, which provides unique profit and loss benchmarking service to hoteliers from around the world.

The causeway has been closed since March 8 as part of a series of strict measures to control traffic coming into both countries and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

HotStats hotel intelligence and customer solutions director David Eisen told the GDN that until travel restrictions are lifted the hospitality industry will suffer.

“Any disruption in conveyance, such as the closure of King Fahad Causeway, which has halted travel between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is a detriment to the very foundation of hospitality that relies on the free movement of people,” he said.

“The fact is that until travel restrictions are lifted, via car, air, and other means, the hospitality industry will suffer.”

He predicted that once the causeway reopens to passenger travel the industry will be the first segment to pick up, with international travel lagging behind.

He explained that this is because Bahrain is the perfect getaway destination for Saudi visitors, due to its close proximity, especially during weekends.

“In March, hotel performance in Bahrain, like globally, saw a 40 percentage point drop in occupancy year-over-year (YOY) to 25pc, according to HotStats data,” he added.

“That led to a 75.5pc drop in YOY Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) and a larger 123pc YOY decrease in profit per available room.

“At the same time, for an industry that relies heavily on foreign workers, labour costs were down 25.3pc YOY in March.”




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