Slowdown? What slowdown? This sector is booming
2018 has been a challenging year so far for many, but one sector is showing that good business is still to be had.
The number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi increased by 4.9% during the first five months of this year, compared to the same period in 2017.
According to statistics from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), 162 hotels, resorts and hotel apartments offering 31,236 rooms across the emirate welcomed 2,073,586 guests during January to May.
Occupancy rate has averaged 75% during the same period (January to May), with a 1.4% increase, while the average length of stay was 2.7 nights, an increase of 2.4% compared to the same period in 2017, with China topping the number of visitors, recording 192,500 visitors, an increase of 19.9% .
India came in second with 166,700 guests and a 22.2% increase, followed by the UK with 119,900 amounting to a 12.7% increase, the United States with 82,300 guests and a 25.7% increase, and Germany with 71,300 guests at a 20% increase.
Abu Dhabi continued its outstanding performance across most of its target markets in May 2018, compared to the same month of last year, with a 7% growth in the number of visitors from India, followed by the UK at 7.9%, the United States at 42% and Germany at 35%.
Domestic tourism rose by 7.9% during the first five months of 2018 with 1,489,154 hotel guests received, compared to 1,371,327 during the same period in 2017.
Growth indicators included the three regions of the emirate, with an 8.6% increase in Al Dhafra at a total of 63,471 guests, 5.3% in Abu Dhabi with 1,833,348 guests received and 1% in Al Ain with 176,767 guests.
HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “These results are very encouraging, and demonstrate steady growth. They also prove Abu Dhabi’s ability to realise its strategic goals of positioning the emirate as a leading global destination, through forward-looking marketing and promotional campaigns that seek to sustain growth. ”
“We continue to promote awareness of Abu Dhabi’s tourism and leisure attractions and authentic cultural heritage, as well as its highly-developed business and convention infrastructure.”
DCT Abu Dhabi also works in cooperation with local and international entities from Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector to participate in the most prominent conferences and exhibitions held throughout the year.
Such participations allow DCT Abu Dhabi to communicate directly with leading international travel and tourism agencies, promote cooperation efforts, and encourage the development of vacation packages and tourism programmes in the emirate.
After having recently concluded its promotional tours in Kazakhstan and Australia, DCT Abu Dhabi is organizing a promotional tour, to take place during the first week of July across three cities in Saudi Arabia.
“We expect to see significant momentum across the tourism sector in the forthcoming months with Abu Dhabi Summer season having begun in June, the opening of new leisure establishments and resorts such as Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi on Yas Island from July 25, and Jumeirah’s luxurious Saadiyat Island Resort in November,” Ghobash added.
While the Abu Dhabi Summer Season will run until 18 August, the second half of 2018 will witness prominent events such as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art in November, and the Abu Dhabi Food Festival in December.
Abu Dhabi’s tourism and hospitality sector is booming following the Executive Committee’s approval of DCT Abu Dhabi’s proposal to cut tourism and municipal fees, implementing a reduction from 6% to 3.5% for tourism fees; a drop of 4% to 2% for municipality fees, and lowering the municipal fee for each hotel room from AED15 to AED10. Effective as of July 1st, this amendment is a result of the continuous efforts to further tourism infrastructure development and encourage investors to build tourist and cultural attractions, and organize events, elevating Abu Dhabi’s status as a leading tourist destination.
“This decision encourages investments across Abu Dhabi’s tourism and hospitality sector and enhances its competitiveness by bettering the economic value we offer our visitors for our quality services and attractions,” Ghobash added.