Chinese tourist number outperformed with a 75 percent surge during the first four months of 2015, which drove higher guest arrivals in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), state news agency WAM reported.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Gulf state UAE, attracted from January to April more than one million guests who stood at least one night at the 161 hotels in the emirate.
Chinese guests increased by 75 percent to reach 79,713 people. This increase marked the highest surge of all nationals visiting Abu Dhabi which is well-known for its beaches and water sports possibilities along the Gulf coast.
"China has now become our largest overseas source market for the very first time, overtaking the UK, India and Germany," Mubarak Al Nuaimi, the director of promotions and overseas offices at TCA Abu Dhabi, told the Abu Dhabi daily The National.
Abu Dhabi has recently put 23 hotels, attractions and experiences into the "Welcome Chinese" program in partnership with the China Tourism Academy.
China has now become the third largest overseas market for the emirate, supported by strong regional GCC tourism growth, and robust performances from the UK, Ireland, India, the U.S. and leading European markets, said the Abu Dhabi tourism and culture authority TCA.
Earlier in May this year, a TCa delegation flew to a five-day tour to China to promote the emirate to tour operators and potential visitors.
Abu Dhabi's national carrier Etihad Airways was the first UAE carrier flying directly from the Gulf country to China when it launched in direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Beijing in spring 2008.
The positive development in the first four months prompted the authority to adjust the 2015 guest arrivals target from 3.5 million to 3.9 million projected total visitors for 2015.
Occupancy for the January-April period increased marginally to 79 percent in comparison to last year, while revenue from hotel establishments recorded a 12 percent increase.
In addition, room revenue increased by 16 percent, while food and beverage revenue increased by 3 percent.