Abu Dhabi boosts 2011 visitor numbers

Abu Dhabi remains on course to meet its 2011 hotel guest target with figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority showing improved performance across guest numbers, guest nights, occupancy revenue and length-of-stay.

The number of guests staying in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments rose ten per cent in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year to stand at 694,181.

Guest nights increased 26 per cent to 2.1 million; room nights climbed 21 per cent to 1.6 million while occupancy levels rose ten per cent to 72 per cent and average-length-of-stay expanded 14 per cent to just over three nights.

“It is a solid all-round performance which we look to maintain over the coming months with our six-weeks Summer in Abu Dhabi festival incentivising visitors, particularly those from within the GCC, with a range of headline entertainment, activities, discounts and value-add deals across attractions and hotels,” said Lawrence Franklin, strategy & policy director, ADTA.

“We have reaped the benefits of various stakeholder initiatives including the Yas Show Weekends and the Etihad Airways-led ‘Essential Abu Dhabi’ incentive campaign, which continues to gain momentum.

“Other forward drivers are increasing air links including this week’s launch by Cathay Pacific of four times weekly flights from Hong Kong to Abu Dhabi.”

European Travel

Traditional European source markets performed well with the UK and Germany both rising 19 per cent year-on-year to 50,846 and 24,958 respectively.

Guests from France increased 35 per cent on the same period to 17,872 while Italy increased by 20 per cent to 11,364.

Saudi Arabia turned in yet another stellar performance from within the region with a 46 per cent rise in guests from the Kingdom year-on-year to 19,375.

Emerging markets, such as Russia, where ADTA has activated on-the-ground representation this year produced 50 per cent more guests than in the first four months of 2010 to stand at 5,459 while India, now ranking as the emirate’s second-largest international market, rose 29 per cent to 33,073.

“Though we are gearing up for more accommodation product coming on line in the third quarter, we anticipate also a surge in demand resulting from a event-packed programme which includes November’s Grand Prix, the 40th National Day celebrations in early December and our headline New Year’s Eve celebrations to coincide with our two-week hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet and the activities surrounding it,” concluded Franklin.

Last year the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority was recognised by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Tourist Board.