Abu Dhabi’s booming tourism industry has crossed a new milestone in 2006 by earning a total of AED 1.8 Billion in revenues as against AED 1.5 Billion in the previous year, posting an impressive growth rate of 19 per cent. Releasing the industry performance statistics at a media meeting in the Abu Dhabi pavilion participating in the ITB-2007 fair in Berlin, which kicked off on Wednesday, Mubarak Al muhairi ADTA Director General, said the tourist sector accounts for 2.9% of the Emirate’s Gross Domestic Product, hitting AED 8.68 billion, and 7.1% of the non-oil domestic product.
He added that the great strides secured by the tourism industry in the Emirate over the past period has reflected positively on the hotel occupancy rates, put at 84.4% all the year round in 2006 as against 78.4% in the previous year, securing an impressive growth rate of 7.6%.
“A total of 1,345,000 visitors descended on Abu Dhabi in 2006, a 12% increase on the previous year.”
On the impact of the current tourist boom on different tourist sectors, including the hotel industry, Almuhairi said a total of 1.18 million guests checked in at Abu Dhabi hotels in 2006, with 1.37 million expected to come aboard by the end of the current year and 3 million by the year 2015.
“Guest nights at Abu Dhabi hotels were to the tune of 2,430,000 in 2006 and are expected to reach 2,830,000 by the end of this year, before surging to 6,240,000 by the year 2015.”
He singled out the need for creating 12,000 hotel rooms and 24,000 more by the year 2015 to meet the tourist surge, expected to reach 3 million visitors by that year.
Almuhairi also reviewed the concomitant stellar performance recorded by the aviation sector in the Emirate, revealing that to the tune of 5.2 million travelers and 57,000 trips used the Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2005.
On the Emirate’s participation in the ITB-Berlin, the ADTA chairman said that promoting Abu Dhabi on world tourist markets and making its presence strongly felt on the world tourist map have always been among the prime targets sought by the ADTA.
“The European continent comes on top of the world tourist markets targeted by the ADTA,” he said, noting that 8.8% of visitors descending on Abu Dhabi come from the United Kingdom, hitting a total of 118 thousands in 2006, then come German tourists who account for 8%, namely 107 thousands.”
HE pointed out that maintaining the current tourist boom entails continued aggressive promotional and marketing initiatives and an expansion in tourist infra-structure development projects.
“Work is underway to finalize a number of such projects whose implementation would, inter alia, add to the Emirate’s considerable tourist potential and enhance tourist attractions in the whole region at large.”
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