Abu Dhabi has reported a 5% year-on-year rise in the number of guests staying in its hotels in January.In total, 153,874 guests checked in to Abu Dhabi’s 115 hotels and hotel apartments during the month. Figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) show guest nights rose by 22% to 476,502 while occupancy levels rose 9 percentage points to 66% and the average length of stay increased to 3.10 nights from 2.68 in January 2010.Hotel guests from Europe delivered double-digit growth, rising 13% on 2010, with Germany, the UK and Italy accounting for increases of 26%, 14% and 21% respectively. Saudi Arabia also performed well recording 15% growth accounting for 2,695 guests.”Rising occupancy is a positive sign and ADTA will continue to focus on balancing the need to maintain our value proposition with the expectations of healthy returns by sector investors,” explained Lawrence Franklin, Strategy & Policy Director, ADTA.”The growth in length of stay suggests that we are making inroads into our goal of attracting an increasing number of leisure guests who traditionally spend more time in the destination than those staying purely for business purposes. Additions to the destination’s range of attractions, and its world-class events, such as January’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, combined with initiatives such as the Yas Island Show Weekends have aided this forward momentum. “We anticipate further leisure traffic growth emanating from Etihad Airways’ ‘Essential Abu Dhabi’ marketing campaign which encourages the airline’s passengers to stay in the UAE capital with a range of fantastic deals on production of their boarding pass and with greater awareness coming from the launch of the second phase of ADTA’s global marketing campaign.”Falling room rates, which were down 26% year-on-year, saw revenue decline by 3% last January compared to the same month in 2010, coming in at US $101 million (AED370 million) with room revenue falling 8% to US $55 million (AED200 million). Food and beverage revenue increased year-on-year by 5% to stand at US $ 36 million (AED132 million).”F&B continues to be the star of the sector with some evidence that visitors are spending money saved on room costs in Abu Dhabi’s increasing number of restaurant outlets,” said Franklin.ADTA has set a stretch target of 2 million hotel guests this year which will require a 10.5% increase in hotel guest numbers on 2010.
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