The number of guest arrivals into Abu Dhabi during the first four months of the year has increased by 20% when compared to the previous year with more than one million people staying in the emirate’s 161 hotels and hotel apartments, new figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show.
The 1,370,241 guest arrivals delivered 3,899,135 guest nights, an increase of 11% on the same period in 2014, prompting the Authority to increase the 2015 guest arrivals target from 3.5 million to 3.9 million.
Domestic tourism from within the UAE remained the primary source of hotel guests and guest nights, accounting for a 44% share of all arrivals, with 441,154 guest arrivals generating 1,004,525 guest nights, a rise of 20% on 2014.
The January to April performance has also been spurred on by emphatic growth in guest arrivals from China, the first four months of this year saw 79,713 Chinese guest arrivals into Abu Dhabi – an increase of 75% during the corresponding period last year – just a handful less than second-placed India which recorded 16% growth to achieve 79,793 guests for the same period.
Abu Dhabi recently welcomed 23 hotels, attractions and experiences into the Welcome Chinese programme in partnership with China Tourism Academy which encourages greater dispersal from more Chinese guest arrivals, extending reasons for them to stay longer.
China has now become the third largest overseas market for the emirate, supported by strong regional GCC tourism growth, and robust performances from the UK & Ireland, India, the USA and leading European markets.
The beginning of the year started with Abu Dhabi’s hosting of numerous major events in the emirate including the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the inaugural Abu Dhabi Food Festival, leading into a regular programme of major events and activities which this year featured the return of the Red Bull Air Race and the continuation of the Abu Dhabi Classics season.
Occupancy for the January-April period increased marginally to 79% in comparison to last year while revenue from hotel establishments recorded a 12% increase to AED 2,431 billion. Room revenue increased by 16% while food and beverage revenue increased by 3%.
Major market strides were made during the same period with arrivals from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia posting an increase of 46% to become the sixth largest international market, behind the UK, India, China, Germany and the United States.
The UK remained the leading European market with arrivals jumping 17% to 80,673 delivering 328,410 guest nights, a 10% increase.
The US recorded an increase of 34% in guest arrivals to 55,570, who stayed 237,530 guest nights. Further growth is expected throughout 2015 from the United States due to increasing airline capacity, pre-entry customs clearance and an anticipated boost in destination awareness on the back of the Furious 7 and latest Star Wars movies.