UK Guest Arrivals Increase 22% during First 10 MonthsAbu Dhabi’s 156 hotels and hotel apartments are nudging closer to the emirate’s 3.1 million guest target for this year with figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) showing 2,838,842 guests checked into the destination in the first 10 months of this year – a 25% uplift on the same period last year.
The UK remains the destination’s top European market with a 22% increase in guest arrivals, up to 158,925 compared to 130,038 for the first 10 months in 2014.
Guest nights from January to October end were up 20% on last year totalling 8.5 million with occupancy climbing 6% to 74%. Hotel revenues in the first 10 months increased by 14% to AED 4,869 billion (£845 million). Room revenues accounted for AED 2.488 billion (£431 million) – which was up 14% while food & beverage rose 11% to AED 1.843 billion (£319 million).
“October performance helped significantly with this growth,” said HE Jasim Al Darmaki, Acting Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. “During the month guest arrivals were up 18% year-on-year, guest nights rose 13% while revenues lifted 4% which should all be viewed against a background of 9% more room availability in the market.
“Given the packed events programme the emirate has in November and December – there are still a host of major events to come this year culminating in the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet and activations in the Destination Village on our Corniche from December 12 – this upward momentum is likely to continue and this year’s guest arrivals target looks well within our means.”
“On top of this we have new product in the market – in the shape of Yas Mall, the emirate’s biggest shopping complex which further lifts the Yas Island proposition. Retail is a major attraction for tourists, with certain overseas markets who appreciate the fact that they can shop tax free here.”
Al Darmaki says two prevailing issues are at the forefront of TCA Abu Dhabi’s promotion efforts – increasing length-of-stay and building average room rate.
“The two are interconnected on a supply and demand basis. Length-of-stay is a key indicator of the destination’s appeal and currently we have slipped this year by 4% on last while our average room rate has dipped 3%. Our focus has to be to get the message out to as wide an audience as possible that there is more to do in this emirate than ever.”
Abu Dhabi’s current average-length-of-stay is 2.99 nights while the average room rate in October was AED416 (£72).