Abu Dhabi has announced a five-day roadshow across major cities in the People’s Republic of China in a bid to tap into its growing tourist market after registering a consecutive growth in the number of Chinese visitors to the emirate.
The roadshow, led by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and other major tourism stakeholders in the emirate, will take place in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
“Our task is to build awareness within China of the depth and range of Abu Dhabi’s tourism offering so that we both attract increasing numbers of visitors from the country while encouraging those that do come to stay longer,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director promotions & overseas offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi’s hotels recorded a surge in Chinese tourists last year and during the first three months of this year, official data showed.
Around 32,259 Chinese guests checked into the emirate’s hotel and hotel apartments in the first quarter of this year, up 208 per cent from the same period last year. They delivered around 50,253 guest nights, an increase of 139 per cent from the same period in 2013 and stayed on average of 1.58 nights in Abu Dhabi.
China currently ranks as the emirate’s fourth largest overseas market for hotel guests.
A number of leisure and hospitality outlets in Abu Dhabi have been focusing on attracting Chinese tourists by offering attractive deals.
“We have a strong network of travel agents and partners in the Chinese market and work closely with them on an ongoing basis to identify ways and means in which we can serve the Chinese market better,” said Bruno Wiley, sales director, Farah Leisure Parks Management which operates outlets such as Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
“We are receiving a healthy amount of group business from the Chinese market, with increasing visitor numbers during key holiday periods, such as Chinese New Year.”
Jumeirah Hotel at Etihad Towers, which recorded a 132 per cent year-on-year rise in Chinese guests in 2013, has been tailoring services to tap into this lucrative East Asian market.
“The outlook for Chinese guests for 2014 also bodes extremely well,” said Doris Grieff, general manager.
“This year’s Q1 room night figures by Chinese guests increased by a further 199 per cent compared to 2013. We attribute the increase to the hotel creating a Chinese New Year package for the first time, which resulted in more than 40 Chinese groups staying with us over the festive period.
The UAE’s tourism officials are also trying to tap into the potential of corporate holidays from the Chinese market following the largest ever-corporate holiday to the country by beauty product manufactures Nu Skin.
Around 14,500 employees of the Chinese corporate flew to the UAE last month, fuelling the country’s tourism revenues.
Chinese tourists also have high purchasing power globally, above those from the US and Germany, according to China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market.
“Academy statistics show over 100 million Chinese tourists travelled abroad in 2013 with a total spending of $102 billion,” Matt Thompson, the project director of the Foreign Tourism Market was quoted as saying in local newspaper People’s Daily.