Business | Tourism

Abu Dhabi on course to achieve 2m tourist target

Destination achieves 13% increase in guests in first eight months of year

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 00:00 September 29, 2011
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Some 1,347,782 guests have stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments year-to-date, leaving the destination on a solid course to reach its target of 2 million hotel guests in 2011, according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

The number of guest nights in the year-to-date comparison period is up 25 per cent to over 4 million with the average length of stay rising 12 per cent to 2.98 nights. Year-to-date occupancy is up 9 per cent to 67 per cent. Total revenue is up 5 per cent to Dh2.7 billion while room revenue has climbed 4 per cent to Dh1.4 billion and food and beverage income is up 9 per cent to just over Dh1 billion. The year-to-date average room rate dropped 15 per cent to Dh474.53.

The number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments last month dipped 5 per cent on the same month last year, according to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (Adta), though the number of guest nights increased 14 per cent.

Regional visitors

Adta says the slight fall in guest numbers could largely be attributed to Ramadan when many domestic and regional visitors who would normally be in the emirate chose to remain at home.

In all, some 116,492 guests stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels during August accounting for 407,766 guest nights.

"The overall increase in guest nights is strongly influenced by the number of longer staying guests in hotel apartments and also impacted the average-length-of-stay, which was up 20 per cent. Some of the performance in this accommodation type can also be attributed to temporary relocations deriving from unrest in some Middle East countries." said Adta's Strategy and Policy Director, Lawrence Franklin.

Comparative month-on-month hotel revenue remained static though income from food and beverage activities rose 9 per cent in August with many guests taking advantage of Ramadan tents and special Iftar meal offers.

Hotel occupancy for August rose 2 per cent on August 2010 largely attributable to a 6 per cent rise in hotel apartment occupancy with hotels achieving only a 1 per cent increase in occupancy. Comparative month-on-month room rates dipped 15 per cent.

Despite the dip in guest numbers — which ended Abu Dhabi's run of double-digit hotel guest growth for 12 consecutive months — the destination remains ahead of the curve achieving a 13 per cent increase in guest numbers in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Arrivals

Year-to-date source markets reveal increasing business from Asia — which is producing 23 per cent more guests than last year and the GCC, for which figures are up 25 per cent. Arrivals from other Arab markets increased 17 per cent, guests from Europe were up 19 per cent while the US and Canada lagged behind at just 2 per cent.

"Contributing countries to the strong arrivals growth rate for the GCC are Saudi Arabia, which has increased year-to-date by 56 per cent and Kuwait by 32 per cent," said Franklin.

"Europe's high growth rate has been primarily influenced by France which is up 24 per cent, the UK which has risen 18 per cent and Germany with 17 per cent growth."

Domestic tourism is still holding its own with a year-on-year increase of 6 per cent to 537,960.

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