Dubai: Besides other factors, Dubai hotels are witnessing a huge growth as guests from new source markets fill up rooms, with visitors from the GCC and Asia topping the charts.
According to the DTCM data for January-September 2011, Saudi Arabia topped the list with 658,631 guests followed by India with 501,508 and the UK with 476,919. "There are more Asian tourists and increased regional tourists," HVS' Choufany said.
As per E&Y estimates, however, there is strong growth in the number of tourists from Russia and the former Soviet Bloc countries, along with stable demand from the regional GCC and South Asian markets.
"The source markets which five to six years ago were still considered secondary markets are improving every year," Strachan of Marriott said, adding that the GCC demand continues to be strong along with improved demand from India and wider Asia.
Kempinski's Koc, on the other hand, said that demand continues to come from the "classical markets" such as the UK, Central Europe (mainly Germany and German-speaking countries), the GCC and Russia/CIS. "We are also seeing increased business from China and some African countries," he said.
Meanwhile, Western Europe continues to be a major feeder market for 4- and 5-star hotels, according to Arabian Courtyard's Khan. "However, a dramatic increase is coming from the pan Arab region, Africa, India and China," he said, adding that Europeans account for approximately 50 per cent of the hotel's guests, followed by Asia with 25 per cent, 15 per cent from the GCC and 10 per cent from the rest of the world.