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Abu Dhabi tourist arrivals drop, sticks to 2012 target

Abu Dhabi, May 6, 2009

Tourism in Abu Dhabi has been hit by a decline in visitors from developed markets, but the emirate is sticking to its target of 2.7 million visitors a year by 2012, an official said on Wednesday.

"Abu Dhabi has had cutbacks from tourists in Europe and developed markets, but it's not something that would cause major alarm bells to cause us to review our longer target of 2.7 million," said Dayne Lim Kok Chun, products development division director at the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

About 1.5 million tourists visited Abu Dhabi in 2008, he added. "We're focusing on culture, heritage and natural resources," he said.

The tourism sector around the world has suffered as a result of the global financial crisis, with hotel occupancy rates and passenger demand for air travel declining in most regions.

Abu Dhabi's neighbouring emirate and regional tourism hub Dubai has been particularly hard it, recent reports show.

Hotel occupancy in Dubai, which lures Western tourists with its beaches and shopping, was down 15.8 per cent in March, according to STR Global, while revenue per available room (revPAR) fell almost 41 per cent, suggesting that hotels have been slashing prices.-Reuters




Tags: abu dhabi | tourist | arrival | target |

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