Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) has released performance figures for Abu Dhabi hotels for the first four months of 2015, and confirmed a 12% increase in hotel revenues, with 1.37 million check-ins. This marks a 20% increase in guest arrivals over the same period in 2014, as reported by Gulf News.

Total nights spent by guests total a staggering 3.9 million, which is 11% higher than last year. Chinese tourists contributed significantly to the increase, making them the third largest overseas market for the emirate, with arrivals of 79,713 guests — a 75% increase over the same period in 2014.

Commenting on the performance, TRI Hospitality Consulting senior consultant Christopher Hewett said to the newspaper: “With Abu Dhabi, the government has also been aggressive in diversifying tourism offerings, trying to bring a greater diversity to the city, and it seems to be paying off. With the opening of Yas Mall towards late last year, they are able to play on the strong demand for quality retail and entertainment from GCC residents.

“I think [the challenges] now are about making sure there is a good spectrum of tourism attractions and entertainment facilities. There are a lot of big developments coming online… so as they [do], that will help in diversifying the product offering to offset the limited attractions that we have now.”

In addition, Euromonitor International research manager Nikola Kosutic credited the increase hotel-room inventory and increase in flights to Abu Dhabi for boosting boost guest numbers.

“Factors like the falling euro do have some negative effect on Abu Dhabi but not overall. We’re talking about a slowdown of arrivals from certain territories that are affected by that but this is offset by growth in other markets. Emiratis account for the largest arrivals, so obviously, they’re not affected by the euro.

“There are surveys that show that Abu Dhabi is an unknown destination for majority of global travellers. There often comes a tipping point where destinations become world famous, and this is what happened to Dubai, and I think it will happen to Abu Dhabi too over the next five years,” Kosutic concluded.

In view of the recent performance, TCA said that the increase in visitors has prompted the authority to raise its targets for 2015 from 3.5 million guests to 3.9 million.

Original article can be read at: Hotelier Middle East