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Abu Dhabi sees rise in visitors from Japan, Korea and China

Figures from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority reveal that the number of Asian travellers checking into the emirate’s 146 hotels and hotel apartments from January to August rose 26 per cent on the same 2012 period with growth being primarily driven by a 40 per cent upsurge in Chinese arrivals. In all, some 313,221 Asians checked into Abu Dhabi accommodation in the first eight months delivering over a million guest nights – which was up 34 per cent in 2012. China and South Korea rank among Abu Dhabi’s top 25 international source markets with 27,378 Chinese staying in the emirate’s hotels in the first eight months of this year, delivering 50,246 guest nights – a 43 per cent year-on-year increase. Some 9,879 South Koreans stayed in Abu Dhabi accommodation over the same period – a rise of 27 per cent on 2012 and delivering some 25,712 guest nights, which was up 45 per cent. Japanese guests, meanwhile, grew 16 per cent in the first eight months of this year compared to last to last year to 8,158 and delivered a 13 per cent uptake in guest nights to 24,680. Now the authority and its key industry stakeholders are looking to hone the momentum with a seven-strong delegation participation at ITB Asia which runs in Singapore from October 23-26. “Our participation will be dual-pronged targeting both the leisure and business tourism segments,” explained Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director Promotions & Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi. Having amassed 20 per cent of the UAE’s overseas rounds January-through-March last year, Abu Dhabi’s three championship-ready golf clubs’ quarterly contribution this year constitutes almost a third of the nationwide total. With other emirates suffering marginal dips or gains, Abu Dhabi’s sterling Q1 performance ensured the number of overseas rounds played across the country was 90% up on the corresponding period last year. “Golf in Abu Dhabi has demonstrated once again how the initiative is striking the right chord with tour operators in the Asian market,” said Walton. “Abu Dhabi is a great product, a complete product, with impressive ambition and it is encouraging to see successful results coming from its golf tourism sector and from key Asian territories.” On the business tourism front, the emirate’s campaign will be led by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, which was formed earlier this year to drive the destination’s ambition to be ranked among the world’s top 50 destinations for association meetings under the International Congress and Convention Association league within five years. Abu Dhabi was ranked among the top 100 last year. ‘We have had some successes from Asia and are now focusing on promoting our Quick Win Advantage Abu Dhabi programme for corporate meetings and incentives. We are receiving a number of enquiries from Asia, mainly from the IT and pharmaceutical sectors in India, Pakistan and Singapore,” explained Al Nuaimi. Meanwhile, the five-star Park Hyatt Resort on Saadiyat Island says it’s planning sales trips throughout Japan, Korea and China to boost Asian awareness and arrivals for the property which is on a nine kilometer stretch of beach. The luxury The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal meanwhile is working on bespoke proposals to roll out into the Asian market. The hotel, which already has Chinese-speaking ladies and gentlemen working at the property is specifically targeting incentive and leisure business from Asia. Joining the Abu Dhabi promotion at ITB Asia are Yas Island – Abu Dhabi’s entertainment district and home to November’s F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which is held at Yas Marina Circuit; the five-star, beachfront The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal; Etihad Airways, which flies; the Grand Continental Flamingo Hotel; the City Season Al Hamra Hotel and the beachfront Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island.

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