Abu Dhabi 'on track' to welcome 2.3 million visitors in 2012
- United Arab Emirates: Monday, September 03 - 2012 at 16:37
With new figures showing that 1.37 million visitors stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels in the first seven months of this year, an increase of 11% over the same period in 2011, tourism officials in the emirate say it is on pace to meet its annual target.
However, the emirate remains 'on track' to meet its tourism goal for the year as it enters its traditional busy season, said Mubarak Al Muhairi, the authority's director general. "With a packed entertainment schedule of world-class events and a host of new leisure attractions due to open across the emirate, including the UAE's largest water park, Yas Waterworld, we are confident momentum will rise and we'll reach our 2.3m hotel guest target," he added.
Visitors from the UK comprised the majority of foreign visitors with 79,660 staying in the emirate during the first seven months of the year (down 2% compared to the same period last year); followed by India with 76,272 (up 30%); and Germany at 54,506 (up 45%).
TCA Abu Dhabi has recently stepped up its efforts to attract more foreign tourists to the emirate. Last month the authority led the emirate's largest road show through three Saudi Arabian cities as part of an effort to boost visitor numbers from the kingdom — the emirate's fifth largest international source market.
This week Abu Dhabi hosted a summit aimed at finding ways to attract more Chinese visitors to the UAE. "The UAE is receiving just a tiny fraction of outbound Chinese travellers, which numbered 70 million last year and China is expected to become the world's leading source market for tourism within the next few years," said Rob Nicholas, the managing director at NPI, the co-organiser of the Chinese Visitor Summit.
Last year more than 210,000 Chinese tourists visited the UAE, according to the Dubai and Abu Dhabi tourism departments, an increase of more than 26% on the year before.
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