Mar 25 2012
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Abu Dhabi Maintains Hotel Guest & Guest Nights growth in February
Abu Dhabi, March 25th, 2012 (WAM) -- Abu Dhabi recorded a five percent growth in the number of guests staying in its hotels and hotel apartments and also guest nights during February this year, compared to the same month last year.The recent figures of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority show that during last month some 184,296 guests stayed in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments - accounting for 550,352 guest nights. The growth was maintained in part by Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the World Ophthalmology Congress 2012, the world’s longest running international medical convention and the largest business event ever staged in the UAE capital, which attracted in excess of 10,000 participants. February’s performance keeps the emirate’s hotel guest numbers growth on-track, with the first two months of this year being 16 percent up on the same period last year to stand at 382,435, while guest nights rose 12 percent to just over 1.1million. The UK remains Abu Dhabi’s largest international source market, accounting for some 21,960 guests and 105,274 guest nights in the first two months of this year 7 percent and 1 percent increases, respectively. Germany climbs to second place in terms of guest numbers with some 16,867 guests and 69,159 guest nights to its credit – increases of 55 percent and 40 percent , respectively. ‘We envisage continued strong performance from Germany aided by the increasing Air Berlin access to Abu Dhabi," said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. From March 23, Air Berlin will operate thrice-daily to Abu Dhabi International including daily, non-stop flights from Berlin and Dusseldorf. India continues to be a high potential market for Abu Dhabi and now ranks as the emirate’s third largest international source market in terms of guest arrivals. India produced some 15,725 guests and 72,893 guest nights in the first two months of this year – rise of 49 percent and 21 percent , respectively. Performance from Saudi Arabia also continues to grow with some 10,461 guests from the Kingdom staying for 30,838 nights during the first two months of the year – up by 47 percent and 44 percent , respectively. "We are increasing our focus on the GCC and the Saudi Arabian market in particular, where once again we envisage sustained growth which, from April, will be significantly aided by increased Etihad frequency to Abu Dhabi from Dammam and Kuwait," added Al Muhairi. From April 1, four new weekly flights will see the award-winning national airline of the UAE fly 25 times a week from Kuwait, while the carrier will also fly 16 times a week from Dammam - compared to the current 13 on the route. Heightened competitiveness in the Abu Dhabi market has led to a 5 percent drop in hotel occupancy in the first two months of the year to 68 percent , though revenue is holding its own with a single percentage increase taking the total to AED818 million (US $224 million). Food & beverage income, which has increased by 14 percent (AED 312.5 million/US $85.5 million) on the first two months of 2011, continues to keep revenue buoyant as room revenue has dropped by 6 percent (AED429 million/US $117.5 million) and the average room rate by 14 percent to stand at AED509/US $140. "There has been a slight slip in the average length of stay and this is now to be a key focus for us for the remainder of this year," said Al Muhairi. "We are working hard with stakeholders to produce an increasing range of tailored and specialised products and are busy developing consumer focused promotional plans targeting the golf, beach, nature, adventure and MICE segments. We are also looking to enhance our distribution channels through trade incentive initiatives and are seeking out ‘preferred partners’ willing to further engage with us in exciting and highly productive B2C initiatives."
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