Abu Dhabi achieves record-breaking WTM

Fiona Jeffery, chairman of WTM and Nabeel Al Zarouni, UK country manager of TCA Abu Dhabi at WTM.

ABU DHABI’S participation in last month’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London produced outstanding results for stakeholders in the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) pavilion, securing a record 550+ meetings with key business partners.

Additionally, TCA Abu Dhabi representatives held meetings with a record 101 travel trade contacts and over 45 key media, to explore destination promotion opportunities.

Mubarak Al Nuaimi, international promotions manager, TCA Abu Dhabi, said the emirate’s delegation had witnessed a consistent stream of visitors to the Abu Dhabi spectacular with people keen to learn more about the destination’s many tourism developments and to learn about its culture and heritage.

“We’ve managed to communicate to people all our new hotel openings, and attractions such as Yas Waterworld and Arabian Nights Village,” commented Al Nuaimi. “Also, lots of people from the industry have talked to us about the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix, and are aware of our packed calendar of events in coming months.”

The tourism body together with Etihad Airways also launched an innovative joint initiative to promote and sell the emirate as a leading leisure destination to the world.

‘Access Abu Dhabi’ gives international trade partners an entirely new opportunity to sell the emirate to their international client base, providing arguably one of the world’s most exciting new tourism ‘hotspots’.

The new programme, which is unique in its approach, will provide the opportunity for national and international trade partners to benefit from ‘Preferred Incentive Packages’ which will include dedicated marketing support, dedicated sales support, along with joint road-shows and familiarisation programmes.

At a time of rising interest in Abu Dhabi on the global arena, ‘Access Abu Dhabi’ gives inbound trade partners a one-stop solution to secure the best terms and support for their annual land and air arrangements to Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates in the UAE and home to the country’s capital.

Commenting on the launch of ‘Access Abu Dhabi’, Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “This new product demonstrates our commitment to our important travel partners and to helping them develop the increasing opportunities held out by our expanding tourism infrastructure and proposition.”

The soon-to-open Yas Waterworld on Yas Island received a deluge of requests during WTM, with plenty of travel industry delegates wanting information on the new attraction.

“We held several business meetings as a result of people approaching the stand. We’ve secured some new business leads which we’ll follow up and confirm in the coming weeks. We’ve also met with several tour operators who are taking groups of travel agents to Abu Dhabi in the near future and we’ve been able to incorporate the waterpark in their itineraries,” said John Kerr, director of sales at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi.

Aloft Abu Dhabi secured an average of five meetings each day, some of which have generated new business. Mark Osborne, director of sales and marketing, Aloft Abu Dhabi said: “The most beneficial meetings we’ve had have been with contacts who visited the stand without a planned meeting. We’ve had over 30 meetings in total and have successfully built brand awareness. We’re confident that as a result of WTM two new business leads will quickly be converted once we return to Abu Dhabi.”