Around 277,000 guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s 149 hotels and hotel apartments in January this year, marking a 36 per cent increase on January 2013, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
Total hotel revenues climbed 22 per cent to Dh522 million, with food and beverage recording a 21 per cent growth to approximately Dh194 million, the tourism authority said in a statement on Sunday.
The arrivals delivered 855,651 guest nights in the month, marking a 26 per cent increase over the same period last year. Occupancy for the month hit 77 per cent, a 10 per cent rise over January 2013, while the average room rate increased by two per cent to reach Dh462.
“January reaped the benefits of the international holiday seasons and the hosting of numerous major events in the emirate, including the World Future Energy Summit, and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship,” said Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general at TCA.
“We anticipate being able to maintain this upward momentum given the air capacity uplift to be delivered shortly through new Etihad Airways’ services between Jaipur [in India] and Abu Dhabi, and from Perth in Australia and Los Angeles and Dallas in the USA,” Al Darmaki said.
Figures released by TCA showed that India remained the emirate’s primary overseas hotel guest market with over 16,000 Indians checking into Abu Dhabi’s accommodation - a 29 per cent jump on January 2013. Indian guests stayed an average of just over four nights.
The UK was at second place as largest overseas market with 15,208 Britons checking into Abu Dhabi hotels — a 24 per cent growth over the same month last year.
The US surpassed Germany as the third largest overseas hotel guest market in January with almost 11,000 Americans staying in the emirate’s hotels — a 48 per cent leap on January 2013. Meanwhile, 10,773 Germans checked into Abu Dhabi’s accommodation — a 25 per cent year-on-year increase.
Major market strides were made during January with arrivals from China, which rose 353 per cent to reach 9,751 Chinese guests.
TCA’s Al Darmaki attributed the increased number of Chinese guests to celebrations of the Chinese New Year, and festivals marking the occasion in Abu Dhabi.
Kuwait also delivered major strides forward for Abu Dhabi during January with over 2,000 Kuwaitis checking into the emirate’s hotels — a 76 per cent year-on-year increase.
As for the outlook for the rest of this year, Christopher Hewett, senior consultant at TRI Hospitality Consulting, said, he expected further growth.
“Tourism activity  has grown over the last year, which explains the increase in number of guests in January. The market is still experiencing some challenges but we predict a slight increase in average room rate of two to four per cent [for this year]. TCA’s target of 3.1 million guests is certainly achievable,” Hewett said.