Abu Dhabi tourism industry roadshow to China

Updated: 2016-03-28 23:30

By Zhang Chengliang in Beijing(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Abu Dhabi's tourism industry is making an ambitious promotion in China, kicking off a roadshow themed "Seven Emirates, One Destination ", in Beijing on Monday.

A 15-strong delegation, led by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (known as TCA Abu Dhabi) and comprising hotels, travel agents, attractions and the country's national airline Etihad Airways, will promote the charm of the United Arab Emirates in Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong over the next five days.

It also aims to showcase Abu Dhabi to Chinese people and to reinforce the already rapid growth of inbound tourism from China.

New market

China is the third-largest overseas market for Abu Dhabi. The growing momentum has witnessed strengthening economic ties and people-to-people exchanges. The United Arab Emirates' rich history and culture and its modern civilization have attracted lots of Chinese tourists. Abu Dhabi takes advantage of its unique cultural attractiveness to become a world-class tourism destination.

2015 saw 177,198 Chinese guests visit Abu Dhabi - an increase of 47 percent over the previous year – and a 31 percent increase in guest nights at the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments to 263,675.

"It is crucial for us to continue to increase our presence in the Chinese market and boost awareness of the many and varied products we have across the emirate. China is an extremely important overseas source market for us," said Mubarak al Nuaimi, director of promotions & overseas offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.

"We are still working hard, though, to encourage our Chinese visitors to experience more of our burgeoning tourism offerings and stay longer in the emirate. Last year we added 23 hotels, attractions and experiences to the Welcome Chinese program in partnership with the China Tourism Academy, which has helped boost our inbound numbers considerably, and we hope this roadshow will help translate these impressive inbound numbers into longer stays for our Chinese friends."

Outstanding experience

The delegation, led by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, comprises leading companies in Abu Dhabi's tourism industry. They pledged to provide Chinese tourists with a great travel experience. Those elite companies include Emirates Palace hotel; Jannah Hotels and Resorts; Le Royal Meridien Hotel; City Seasons Hotels; Danat Hotels and Resorts; Armed Forces Officers Club; Premier Travel and Tourism; Planet Travels and Tours; Miral Destination Management; Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi; Omeir Holidays; Al Burj Travel and Tours; Al Bada Resort; Arabian Adventures, as well as the UAE's national carrier, Etihad Airways.

While there are already daily flights to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways from Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai, from Aug 1, 2016, the daily service to Shanghai will be upgraded with the introduction of the new 299-seat 787 Dreamliner, which is expected to further boost inbound travel.

"China is a very important market for Etihad Airways. Demand is strong and last year alone, Etihad Airways carried more than 650,000 passengers to and from Greater China," said Shane O'Hare, senior vice-president of marketing, Etihad Airways.

"We are very pleased to see China has been the best performing market for Abu Dhabi in terms of growth, recording a 47 percent increase in visitor numbers compared with 2014."

"As the national airlines of the United Arab Emirates, we are proud to be coming together with TCA Abu Dhabi as very close partners in promoting Chinese tourism to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of UAE, and the hub of Etihad Airways."

Ms Rima Rawass, group marketing manager from Danat Hotels & Resorts, said: "There are two projects that we are excited to be bringing to the Chinese on this trip: We are fully renovating our Dhafra Beach Hotel property of 100 rooms and adding 100 rooms to the inventory. And as well as this, we are adding 24 chalets to our Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort and three restaurants and health club facilities.

"We are expecting that the Chinese market may increase by 15 percent in 2016 and expecting more room nights production next year in 2017 since Chinese travellers have varied interests – culture, heritage, cuisine, beach and resorts, golf and shopping - which they can all find in Abu Dhabi in particular, and the UAE in general."

Ali Rizvi, general manager from Al Bada Resort, Al Ain's unique Desert Resort, said: "We are very excited to be involved in the China roadshow organized by TCA Abu Dhabi, and we will be promoting specially designed packages, including half-board and full-board with 2, 3 and 4-day activities for families within the resort and with partners in Al Ain such as Al Ain Zoo, Hili Fun City, Wadi Adventure and also trips to camel farms. We believe these will prove to be very popular to the Chinese traveller."

Bruno Wiley, vice-president of sales at Farah Experiences, said: "We are very excited to introduce our latest theme park experience in China – the record-breaking Flying Aces roller coaster, which has recently ‘taken off' at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi on Yas Island.

"The first bi-plane-themed coaster, Flying Aces has been acclaimed for having the world's tallest non-inverted loop as well as the steepest and fastest inclined cable lift, and the ride mimics the movements of the 1900's bi-planes to offer extreme gravity defying flight acrobatics.

"The ride adds to the already fantastic range of fun-filled attractions and family-focused offerings on Yas Island, such as the Emirati, pearl diving inspired experiences at Yas Waterworld - and we are looking forward to showcasing everything the island has to offer once again to China."