New push to boost Al Ain tourism
Abu Dhabi, February 18, 2014
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said it has established an industry development committee specifically for the emirate’s Oasis City and heritage heartland – Al Ain.
The committee, made up of members from 18 public and private sector organisations includes representatives of hotels, attractions, shopping malls, Al Ain Municipality, the Department of Transport, Al Ain Police, Al Ain Club Investment Company, Al Qudra Holding and Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.
“We have a task before us to boost awareness of the tourism offering in Al Ain and the Eastern Region both locally, regionally and internationally,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, TCA Abu Dhabi’s Acting Executive Director for the Tourism Sector.
“The region will see around between 650 to 800 new hotel rooms come on line in the next 18 months and there is a pressing business case to answer,” he revealed.
Last year some 311,640 guests checked into hotels and hotel apartments in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Region – which was a 9 per cent rise over 2012. The guests delivered 640,957 guest nights, up12 per cent on the previous year and they stayed, on average just over two nights.
The hotels notched up an occupancy rate of 65 per cent - which was an uplift of 9 per cent on 2012 and turned in a revenue performance of Dh340.7 million ($92.8 million) which was up 14 per cent year-on-year with an average room rate of Dh428 - which slipped by just one per cent year-on-year.
“Our aims will be to attract more visitors to the region and also to encourage them to stay longer,” explained Al Dhaheri. “Al Ain has many attractions to engage visitors, particularly families, and we will work pro-actively to pull the entire offering together and promote it extensively – awareness is key,” he noted.
At next month’s ITB Berlin travel trade show in Germany, the Abu Dhabi pavilion will have a segment dedicated to Al Ain and TCA Abu Dhabi hopes to convince international tour operators to package around the Eastern Region’s products, said the top official.
“Al Ain offers exceptional value for money at the moment so our timing of focused promotion could not be better. Building demand and lengthening stay will gradually lift the room rate,” explained Al Dhaheri.
“The case for more trade packaging around the Al Ain offering is quite significant given the city has a number of Unesco heritage sites. We believe Al Ain can be a point-to-point destination in its own right instead of the add-on to stays in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, often resulting in day visits only,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service