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Abu Dhabi’s guest nights up 14pc in August

Abu Dhabi, September 28, 2011

The number of guest nights at Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments increased 14 per cent in August over the same month of 2010, though the number of guests dipped five per cent, said a report.

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) said the slight fall off in guest numbers could largely be attributed to Ramadan when many domestic and regional visitors who would normally be in the emirate chose to remain at home to celebrate the month with their families.

In all some 116,492 guests stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels during August accounting for 407,766 guest nights, according to figures released by ADTA.

“The overall increase in guest nights is strongly influenced by the number of longer staying guests in hotel apartments and also impacted the average-length-of-stay, which was up by 20 per cent,” said ADTA’s Strategy and Policy director Lawrence Franklin.

“Some of the performance in this accommodation type can also be attributed to temporary relocations deriving from unrest in some Middle East countries.”

Comparative month-on-month hotel revenue remained static though income from food & beverage activities rose 9 per cent in August with many guests taking advantage of Ramadan Tents and special Iftar meal offers.

Hotel occupancy for August rose 2 per cent on August 2010 largely attributable to a 6 per cent rise in hotel apartment occupancy with hotels achieving only a 1 per cent increase in occupancy.  Comparative month-on-month room rates dipped 15 per cent.

Despite the dip in guest numbers – which ended Abu Dhabi’s run of double-digit hotel guest growth for 12 consecutive months – the destination remains ahead of the curve achieving a 13 per cent increase in guest numbers in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Year-to-date, some 1,347,782 guest have stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments leaving the destination on a solid course  to reach its stretch target of  2 million hotel guests in 2011.

The number of guest nights over the year-to-date comparison period is up 25 per cent to over 4 million with the average length-of-stay rising 12 per cent to 2.98 nights. Year-to-date occupancy is up 9 per cent to 67 per cent.

Total revenue is up 5 per cent to Dh2.7 billion ($749 million) while room revenue has climbed 4 per cent to Dh1.4 billion ($393 million) and food & beverage income is up 9 per cent to just over Dh1 billion ($275 million). The year-to-date average room rate dropped 15 per cent to Dh474.53 ($129).

Year-to-date source markets reveal increasing business from Asia – which is producing 23 per cent more guests than last year and the GCC, for which figures are up 25 per cent. Arrivals from other Arab markets increased 17 per cent, guests from Europe were up 19 per cent while the US and Canada lagged behind at just 2 per cent.

“Contributing countries to the strong arrivals growth rate for the GCC are Saudi Arabia, which has increased year-to-date by 56 per cent and Kuwait by 32 per cent,” explained Franklin.

“Europe’s high growth rate has been primarily influenced by France which is up 24 per cent, the UK which has risen 18 per cent and Germany with 17 per cent growth.”

Domestic tourism is still holding its own with a year-on-year increase of 6 per cent to 537,960, the ADTA report said.

“Much of this can be attributed to our upgraded leisure offering, the quality and outstanding value of our accommodation offer and the particular success of consumer orientated programmes such as the Yas Island Show Weekends, which, through packaging, tactically link motivating activities and the obvious value of our accommodation to generate overnights stays,” said Franklin.

“We anticipate further growth from the domestic sector given the packed events schedule which both closes this year and kick-starts next year.”

The UK remains the destination’s leading international source market achieving some 89,179 guests this year with India coming in at second place with 66,427 – an increase of 24 per cent.

“We continue to ramp up engagement with the Indian market through initiatives such as the three city road show in the country conducted earlier this month by ADTA and key stakeholders,” said Franklin.

Abu Dhabi is heading towards its most hectic Q4 yet with a packed events programme and a slew of distinctive five-star resorts and hotels due to open.

“In the space of three months we will see the staging of the third Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, spectacular celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the UAE and the New Year’s Eve hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race with each event packed with concerts and activities,” Franklin said.

“Abu Dhabi will be action-packed during the coming months and we expect to see the results measured in significant guest growth.”

“In addition, the emirate will benefit from even more air access which includes the newly-launched four times weekly flights from Prague by CSA Czech Airlines,” he added.

“Etihad’s plans to add, in October, five more flights a week from the Saudi capital Riyadh bringing its services on this route to 13 a week, its four times weekly flights from Dusseldorf from December and its plans to add four, non-stop services a week from Chengdu, China’s south-west economic hub, from December 15,” Franklin concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: abu dhabi | hotels | ADTA | August | guest nights | Tourism Authority |

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