Abu Dhabi Hospitality Sector exhibits high growth in Q1

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Anantara Easter Mangroves Hotel & Spa Abudhabi. Image Courtesy :EMHS
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Anantara Easter Mangroves Hotel & Spa Abudhabi. Image Courtesy :EMHS
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, Abu Dhabi. Image Courtesy: EMHS

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority recently released their performance figures for the first quarter of this year. The Q1 performance has been commendable and has shown across-the-board growth in guest numbers, guest nights, average-length-of-stay and revenues.

A comprehensive detail of the Q1 figures revealed the following statistics:

  • 631,417 guests checked into UAE accommodations in the first 3 months of 2013, which is a 6 percent rise on Q1 2012
  • Guest nights rose by 23 percent from the figures quoted in Q1 2012, to a total of 2,119,016
  • The average-length-of-stay recorded in Q1 2013 was 3.36 nights, which is a 16 percent from Q1 2012
  • Total revenues climbed 15 percent to AED 1.432 billion (USD 389.9 million)
  • Of the total revenue registered in Q1 2013, food and beverage income of AED538.8 million (USD 146.7 million) represents a 12 percent increase on Q1 2012

Among the first three months of 2013, the impressive figures for Q1 2013 can be attributed to the performance in March. In March alone,  guest arrivals rose 9 percent on the same month last year to stand at 230,974 which translated into 761,834 guest nights – a 26 percentage month-on-month increase with total revenues climbing 18 percent to AED502 million (USD 136.7 million), average-length-of-stay edging up 16 percent and occupancy rising 7 percent to 74 percent.

In addition, the improved figures are a result of an increased rooms supply with the opening of four new hotel facilities. Two resorts were launched in Q1 2013, one of which is in Abu Dhabi city another in Al Ain, and two hotel apartments in the UAE capital. The facilities totaled 706 rooms being available to guests.

The  average room rate which dropped by 2 percent to AED 489 (USD 133.) registered as the only negative territory recorded in Q1.

“The heightened competitiveness of the destination is winning additional major tour operators to our destination. We are starting to reap the benefits of our trade engagement programme which began a year ago and in which 14 destination management companies have been represented, three of which are now opening offices in Abu Dhabi with a fourth expanding an existing office. The programme has enabled us to reach 4.4 million consumers through joint partner marketing promotions in Australia, UK, Germany and Russia while 27,850 travel agents and agencies have been engaged through promotions and educated on destination Abu Dhabi products. With our trade engagement partners we have staged 15 destination roadshows and presentations in India, Russia, Germany and the UK.

As a result of these initiatives we have generated, with our partners, 28,440 guests from Australia, the UK and Germany which translated into 91,418 room nights. Overall we are on the right side of the curve and with planned new air routes such as Etihad’s daily service from Amsterdam starting next month and services from Sao Paolo beginning June, we have new territories to explore. This week our team is in Sao Paolo spreading the destination message at the inaugural World Travel Market Latin America and other major promotional campaigns are being launched at Arabian Travel Market next month and through a seven city Far East road show taking in five Chinese cities, Tokyo and Seoul in June. During Q1 of this year domestic tourism continued to be Abu Dhabi’s biggest supplier of hotel guests accounting for 202,506 guests, 464,048 guest nights and an average-length-of-stay of 2.29 nights.

Domestic still holds out potential for us. We have slipped back 5 percent on arrivals on Q1 last year and still have work to do on building the average-length-of-stay. A round-Emirates road show is in the planning stage as we look to press home our message that there is now so much more to see and do in Abu Dhabi.” — HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi

UK, India and Germany were noted to be the top 3 overseas guests source markets. UK bagged the top position by delivering in Q1 some 39,841 arrivals, which was up 7 percent on Q1 last year. India followed by delivering 36,157 guests – a 7 percent increase on last year and Germany came in third with 31,700 Germans checking into Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments – 14 percent more than last year.

“Though the year has begun well we are acutely aware of the challenges of the summer months and will shortly be announcing a series of festival activities which we hope will drive business to our accommodation providers over the traditional low season. We also anticipate strong visitor appeal emanating from the Birth of A Museum exhibition running at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island until towards the end of July and which presents important art works from the Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection, some of which have never been seen, or revealed, before.” —  HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi

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