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UK market leads the way for overseas visitors to the capital emirate
Abu Dhabi recorded a whopping 19 per cent increase in the number of guests staying in the emirate's 116 hotels and hotel apartments during the first quarter of this year.Figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), based on its accommodation sector census, show 462,173 hotel guests stayed for a total of 1,252,144 nights - a rise of nine per cent on last year's figures.The UK market is in Abu Dhabi's top five overseas markets and rose by massive 19 per cent growth to 31,320 guests. This was followed by the GCC which increased 29 per cent to 26,685 guests; the USA which accounted for 21,776 guests with a drop of one per cent; India, which rose 26 per cent to 18,643 and Germany, which accounted for 16,467 guests, a slip of 20 per cent.Ireland also rose, by nine per cent.Average occupancy rates for Abu Dhabi came in at 66 per cent - ahead of some major international tourism destinations, such as Madrid and Berlin, which each rated 58 per cent."We are on track to attain our year-end target of a 10 per cent increase in hotel guests to 1.65 million," said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA.Domestic tourism also performed well over the first quarter, with a 25 per cent growth to 191,949 hotel guests. "These results have to be judged in light of Abu Dhabi's growing accommodation inventory - which has gone to 17,600 rooms in the first quarter of this year, from just under 13,000 this time last year," explained Al Muhairi."Hotel guest revenue for Q1 amounted to AED 1.15 billion [approximately £20.5 million] and the average length of stay was 2.7 nights. Both measures have dropped slightly on Q1 last year, by five per cent and eight per cent respectively, and we will be focusing heavily on improving both," said Al Muhairi."The good news for hotel guests is that the destination is now more affordable than it has been for the past three years. In a value-conscious tourism marketplace, affordability is critical to building demand.Abu Dhabi's hotel guests remain business-oriented with an 80/20 business-to-leisure profile, but ADTA believes its growing leisure offering will change this ratio.Abu Dhabi's hotel room stock is set to rise further this year, by more than 4,000 rooms. Another 11 hotels are slated to open by the year-end, including the Venetian-inspired waterfront resort Grand Canal Abu Dhabi by JW Marriott, the Rocco Forte Abu Dhabi and the 257 rooms and suites Hili Rayhaan by Rotana, in the emirate's heritage city of Al Ain."Destination development is also being significantly enhanced by improved air access resulting from the growth of Etihad Airways' route network and the arrival of new airlines serving both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain international airports. "In addition, there is a significant amount of traffic now transiting Abu Dhabi International Airport, which holds out huge potential for the development of competitive stop-over packages," added Al Muhairi.For further information on ADTA call 0207 201 6400 or visit www.visitabudhabi.ae
About ADTA: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) was established in September 2004.It has wide ranging responsibilities for building and developing the emirate's tourism industry. These include; destination marketing; infrastructure and product development and regulation and classification. A key role is to create synergy in the international promotion of Abu Dhabi through close co-ordination with the emirate's hotels, destination management companies, airlines and other public and private sector travel-related organisations.