Abu 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 showing 2,838,842 guests checked into the destination in the first ten months of this year.
This represents a 25 per cent uplift on the same period last year.
Guest nights from January to October end were up 20 per cent on last year totalling 8.5 million with occupancy climbing six per cent to 74 per cent.
Hotel revenues in the first ten months increased by 14 per cent to US$1,325 billion.
Room revenues accounted for US$677 million – which was up 14 per cent - while food and beverage rose 11 per cent to US$502 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 per cent year-on-year, guest nights rose 13 per cent while revenues lifted four per cent which should all be viewed against a background of nine per cent more room availability in the market.
“Given the packed events programme the emirate has in November and December, this upward momentum is likely to continue and this year’s guest arrivals target looks well within our means.”
Al Darmaki explained 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 four per cent on last while our average room rate has dipped three per cent.
“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 US $113.
Al Darmaki said the 2014 hotel performance is also set to benefit from increasing air links.
“NIKI Airlines has just launched a daily direct service from Vienna to Abu Dhabi opening up the Austrian market to us while Etihad Airways is now flying non-stop daily from San Francisco and will begin thrice-weekly flights from Dallas, Texas in December greatly enhancing our potential from the US.
“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, particularly those coming from within the GCC region and with certain overseas markets who appreciate the fact that they can shop tax free here.
“In addition 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 12th.”