African Sun occupancy levels hit 52%, pins hopes on international travels 

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED hospitality group, African Sun Limited (ASL) has seen occupancy levels surging to 52% on the back of a significant increase in revenue per room.

The group has pinned hopes on the sector’s recovery across the globe.

Presenting the group’s performance for the annual period ended December 31 2023, ASL chairman, Constantine Chikosi said hotel occupancies recorded significant increases.

“Hotel occupancies increased to 52%, six percentage points above 2022. Revenue per Available Room for accommodation revenue increased by 58% to US$ 57, up from US$ 36 in the comparative period,” he said.

During the year under review, the group posted an operating profit of US$ 3,74 million on the back of recording a marginal profit after tax from continuing operations of USD 0.52 million, largely due to a harsh macroeconomic operating environment.

The group had a high effective tax rate for the year under review, worsened by declining values of capital allowances due to inflation. Revenue Group revenue was US$ 54,73 million, up 30% against the comparable period.

The improved performance was driven by firmer Average Daily Rates (“ADR”) which closed 2023 at US$ 110, an increase of 39% against USD 79 achieved during the comparable period, due to changes in customer mix.

“Looking at the year ahead, the UNWTO forecasts international tourist arrivals to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2024, with initial estimates pointing to a 2% growth above the 2019 levels, underpinned by increased air connectivity, and continued recovery of Asian markets and destinations.

“However, persisting global inflation and rising oil prices translating into higher transport and accommodation costs could weigh down on spending patterns and demand over the forecast period,” he added.