Indian visitors accounted for 7 per cent of all hotel stays in the emirate. Lee Hoagland / The National
Indian visitors accounted for 7 per cent of all hotel stays in the emirate. Lee Hoagland / The National

Indian visitors dominate Abu Dhabi tourism sector



India is growing in importance as a source market for Abu Dhabi's tourism sector and has become the single largest overseas nationality for hotel stays.

In the first half of this year, 152,423 Indians checked into Abu Dhabi hotels, a 20 per cent increase year-on-year, according to the Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

Indian visitors accounted for 7 per cent of all hotel stays in the emirate, with a an average stay of 3.4 nights, TCA Abu Dhabi said. With more than 300 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and Indian cities, “the emirate could be promoted within India as a convenient short-break choice, a luxury wedding celebration destination and a world-class meeting and convention venue”, said Saif Ghobash, director general of TCA Abu Dhabi, according to a statement yesterday.

“Abu Dhabi could cater to the various travel segments because of its product diversity, which spans capital city luxury, Yas Island entertainment, Unesco World Heritage Sites in Al Ain and superb desert and island resorts within Al Gharbia,” said Mr Ghobash.

He was speaking at a gathering of 600 agents, all members of The Travel Agents Association of India, held over the weekend in the capital.

Last week, the emirate hosted the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta). The UK is another key source market for Abu Dhabi’s tourism efforts.

Preliminary data for last month from the analyst STR showed that Abu Dhabi hotel room supply was 3.9 per cent higher year-on-year, while demand fell by 3 per cent.

Occupancy was down by 6.7 per cent to 68.9 per cent in September.

The average daily room rate was 6.4 per cent lower, to Dh400.5, the lowest September since 2005.

However, while revenue per avail­able room dropped by 12.6 per cent to Dh275.8, it was up on August.

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