UAE – Abu Dhabi has reported an eight per cent rise in hotel visitors, to 1.81m for 2010.
Guest nights broke through the five million mark and The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority said the new figure for guest nights represented a 19 per cent rise on 2009.
The UK market delivered the biggest international increase, sending 117,836 hotel visitors, up 22 per cent on 2009.
ADTA credits the improved performance to a substantial expansion in the destination’s product base. The average visitor length of stay has increased to 2.83 nights.
“The introduction of exciting leisure products such as Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, new golf courses and the Yas Island Show Weekends, coupled with the increased maturity of the emirate’s international events calendar and the launch of new MICE events - such as World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi - helped ensure a very successful final quarter and the destination’s best hotel guest performance yet,” said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA.
“Much praise is also due to the highly active and more uniformed marketing from our growing stakeholder base,” Al Muhairi added.
The ADTA stepped up its destination marketing in 2010 with the roll-out of a major international advertising campaign, participation in 20 international trade fairs and the opening of a promotional office in Beijing.
“Our performance has also been aided by more attractive rate structures, which have increased our competitiveness, with the market responding accordingly,” said Al Muhairi.
Abu Dhabi’s main growth markets after the UK were the USA, which delivered 78,985 guests (up 16%); France, 36,980 guests (up 6%) and Australia, up 18 per cent at 25,833 guests. China, entered Abu Dhabi’s top 20 market rankings for the first time, coming in at number 19 with 14,580 guests.
“While our traditional source markets continue to perform well, emerging markets are increasingly making their presence felt,” added Al Muhairi.
It seems the guests are growing in numbers but spending less, with ADTA reporting revenue remaining static at AED 4.2 billion (US $1.15bn). Rates have become more competitive in a market with increased capacity.
The emirate’s visitor market now contributes 11.1 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP. Al Muhairi says the emirate is also well placed to build its maturing performance and major events.
“We have several highlights to look forward to, not least the end-of-year hosting of the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. We are also gearing up for the arrival, this October, of the luxury liner MSC Lirica which will home port in Abu Dhabi during its 19 Gulf sailings from the UAE capital.”
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