Abu Dhabi will host 462 tour operators, meeting planners and media this month as part of a major familiarisation programme to boost tourism.
The delegates are from nine countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Russia, the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said in a statement.
The largest groups are from Russia and Italy – with 120 travel agents from Russia’s outbound leisure travel sector arriving on September 11 and 130 Italian leisure tour operators landing in Abu Dhabi on September 16.
“None of the hosted delegations have been to Abu Dhabi before and, together with our stakeholders, we are working to deliver exciting, inspiring and convincing itineraries through which we hope to persuade these important intermediaries to recommend our destination to their respective clients and audiences,” said Mubarak Al Nuami, director, Promotions & Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“The operators will see all regions of the emirate and take in the desert, islands, beaches, cultural sights as well as our headline attractions.
“They will also be briefed on our extensive event calendar as we look to increase visitor numbers as well as their average length of stay.”
Abu Dhabi is currently undertaking a massive tourism campaign to boost the number of inbound visitors.
Over 1.7 million guests checked into the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments during the first half of this year, up 28 per cent compared to the first half of 2013.
In the six months between January to June this year, visitors delivered 5,147,392 guest nights, up 22 per cent year-on-year, while average occupancy rates grew eight per cent year-on-year to reach 77 per cent.
“The emirate now has much more vibrant product to showcase and a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets,” said Al Nuami.
“We can now fulfill the most exacting requirements of a variety of sectors, from luxury to family, from meetings to major conventions, and we want the trade to see for themselves how far the destination has progressed,” he added.