Chinese tourists reign supreme as Abu Dhabi hotel guest numbers rise in Feb 2018

The guest numbers registered a 15.2% rise with visitors from China leading the source markets

Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Abu Dhabi registered a 15.2% increase in hotel guests compared to the same time last year in 2017, according to figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT). A surge in Chinese guests led the way for the increase in numbers.

Abu Dhabi registered a total of 405,849 visitors in 162 hotels and hotel apartments during February, an increase of more than 53,000 over February 2017.

All three regions recorded a year-on-year increase in hotel guests with Abu Dhabi up 16.3%, Al Ain Region showing an increase of 2.4% and Al Dhafra Region up 20.4%.

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Multiple countries contributed double digits comparable growth during the month, with China by far the most prominent, with a marked 83.6% increase. The UK followed with a 31% increase, with India posting a 29.1% lift, Germany 23.1%, and the United States a 16.2% growth.

Visitors from France were also prominent, up by 27.2% which DCT claims is a likely boosted by sustained interest in Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The surge in Chinese guests, which numbered more than 48,900 in February, is in part a highly encouraging consequence of the considerable investment from DCT Abu Dhabi on Baidu (the Chinese equivalent of Google), which began in December 2017, a statement said.  

The net result of this campaign, the statement points out, was a 50-fold increase in the traffic to the Chinese language version of the Visit Abu Dhabi website over the last three months, with visitabudhabi.cn receiving more than 2.5 million visits.

DCT Abu Dhabi director general HE Saif Saeed Ghobash said: “We are continuing to consolidate and build on the success of 2017, with our digital campaign and targeted investment in China especially prominent. The number of guests arriving from China, whether to enjoy our Chinese New Year celebrations or our extensive retail offerings or as a result of our investment in online campaigns, have contributed towards a significant boost in overall numbers for the emirate, with our other markets providing solid support.”

Ghobash revealed that efforts are in place to target 8.5 million visitors by 2021 to the emirate but commented that there’s still “work to be done” in terms of average length of stay and occupancy.

However, hotel occupancy rates increased in February in Abu Dhabi’s 131 hotels, while Al Ain and Al Dhafra recorded falls in their respective 20 and 11 hotels. Average length of stay for visitors dropped slightly across all three regions, the statement added.

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