Abu Dhabi’s 141 hotels and hotel apartments generated double digit growth in guest nights, revenue, occupancy and average-length-of-stay last month with guest arrivals nudging up 7% on the same month last year.
Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), show 196,518 guests stayed in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments last month delivering 676,445 guest nights – a 23% rise on February 2012.
“The fundamentals show that people are staying longer in the emirate which demonstrates that our message of there now being so much more to see and do thanks to expanded resort, attractions and business events offerings is resonating well,” said HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“Average-length-of-stay climbed 15% during the month-on-month comparison to stand at 3.44 nights.”
Hotel occupancy during February climbed 12% to a healthy 78% with the average room rate rising by 7% to AED553 (US $150). Total revenue for the month came in at AED 503.3 million (US $137 million) – up 7% on February 2012 - with room revenue rising 31% to AED282.4 million (US $76.9 million) or 44% of total revenues. Food and beverage returns rose 14% to AED178.2 million (US $48.4 million) representing 35.4% of total revenues.
February’s performance means that in the first two months of this year, Abu Dhabi is riding a 5% upturn in guest arrivals on year-to-date comparisons with 2012 with rises in all key performance indicators with the exception of the average room rate which has slipped by just 1%.
During February the UK reclaimed its place at the emirate’s best performing international source market just ahead of India, after being displaced for the number one slot by the Sub-continent republic in January.
UK arrivals during the month rose 10% to 12,595 accounting for 61,309 guest nights, which was up 20% month-on-month and a 9% increase in the average-length-of-stay of 4.45 nights. Indian guests amounted to 10,754, which was up 16% on February 2012, and translated into 54,418 guests nights – a 54% rise- and an average length of stay of 3.81 nights, which was up by 33%.
Germany is the third most productive hotel guest market. Some 9,449 Germans stayed in the emirate’s accommodation, which was up 12% on the comparative period, and produced 36,688 guest nights – a rise of 18% - with Germans staying on average 4.34 nights.
There were sharp upward guest arrival spikes from China and Russia. A total of 5,849 Chinese checked into Abu Dhabi hotels during last month – 196% more than February last year. They accounted for 9,412 guest nights, which soared by 126% on February 2012 though they stayed for shorter periods delivering an average-length of stay of just 1.61 nights. China now ranks as Abu Dhabi’s seventh international source market in terms of guest arrivals.
“We are looking hard at developing specific product to entice longer stays by our Chinese visitors and believe the staging of the Chinese Visitor Summit in Abu Dhabi this coming September, when we have the chance to sell the emirate to 75 leading Chinese bookers will assist us on this path” said Al Muhairi.
Russian guest arrivals in February shot up 119% to 2,125. These guests accounted for a 182% increase in guest nights to 12,484 staying an average of 5.87 nights – a 29% month-on-month increase in average-length of stay.
“Russians are our longest staying guests after those from the USA,” explained Al Muhairi.
“Russian guests are largely leisure-focussed while those from the States are predominantly business visitors. Our leisure proposition has improved by leaps and bounds over the past year with new beachfront resorts, the Yas Waterworld waterpark and new beach openings both on Saadiyat and Yas islands. We are coming of age on the leisure front while refocusing on the business events segment with the recent launch of the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau. We are confident that with this new, highly focussed body, which has already re-energised our Advantage Abu Dhabi meetings incentives, we can secure significant new business in the corporate and MICE segments.
“We are well placed to make a lasting and positive impression among the many industry leaders who will join us in Abu Dhabi this April for the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2013. We will use this pre-eminent forum to make clear our ambitions and persuade these influencers that our time as a balanced leisure/business destination has come.”