Abu Dhabi sees 5% dip in August visitors, says ADTA

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority says Ramadan is main reason for drop; revenues remain static
Abu Dhabi sees 5% dip in August visitors, says ADTA
The number of guests staying in Abu Dhabis hotels and hotel apartments dipped five percent in August compared to the same month last year
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 28 Sep 2011 08:07 PM

The number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments dipped five percent in August compared to the same month last year, according to figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) on Wednesday.

The figures also showed the number of guest nights increased 14 percent while comparative month-on-month hotel revenue remained static.

Despite the dip in guest numbers - which ended Abu Dhabi's run of double-digit hotel guest growth for 12 consecutive months - the UAE capital achieved a 13 percent increase in guest numbers in the first eight months of this year.

However, income from food & beverage activities rose nine percent in August with many guests taking advantage of Ramadan tents and special Iftar meal offers.

ADTA said the fall off in guest numbers could largely be attributed to Ramadan when many domestic and regional visitors who would normally be in the emirate chose to remain at home to celebrate the Holy Month with their families.

In all some 116,492 guests stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels during August accounting for 407,766 guest nights.

Lawrence Franklin, ADTA's strategy and policy director, said: "The overall increase in guest nights is strongly influenced by the number of longer staying guests in hotel apartments and also impacted the average-length-of-stay, which was up by 20 percent.

"Some of the performance in this accommodation type can also be attributed to temporary relocations deriving from unrest in some Middle East countries."

Hotel occupancy for August rose two percent on August 2010, largely attributable to a six percent rise in hotel apartment occupancy, while month-on-month room rates dipped 15 percent.

Year-to-date, some 1,347,782 guest have stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments leaving the destination on course to reach its target of two million hotel guests in 2011.

Total revenue is up five percent to $749m while room revenue has climbed five percent to $393m and food and beverage income is up nine percent to $275m.

Year-to-date source markets revealed increasing business from Asia - which is producing 23 percent more guests than last year and the GCC, for which figures are up 25 percent.

The UK remains the destination's leading international source market achieving some 89,179 guests this year with India second with 66,427.

"We continue to ramp up engagement with the Indian market through initiatives such as the three city road show in the country conducted earlier this month by ADTA and key stakeholders," said Franklin.

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