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TCA Abu Dhabi to boost inbound tourism
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 04 - 2017

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is leading the largest delegation it has ever taken to the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in a bid to capitalize and increase on record numbers of guest arrivals into the emirate.The Authority will be joined by 67 stakeholders representing 115 products at the region's biggest travel and tourism fair, which is being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates starting tomorrow (April 24).
The emirate's leading hotels, destination management companies, tour operators and attractions will be represented at Dubai World Trade Centre where more than 30,000 delegates will be using ATM to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinions and trends. More than 4.4 million guest arrivals were recorded in Abu Dhabi during 2016, which set a new annual record, with an increase of 8% over the previous year. This year the Authority has set a target to welcome 4.9 million guests into the emirate, which is a year-on-year rise of 10%, and has already welcomed impressive guest arrival figures during the first two months of this year.
During January and February, there was an increase of 5.5% in guest arrivals over the corresponding period in 2016, with 749,650 guest arrivals registered – an increase of 40,000 over the same two months in 2016.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: "Abu Dhabi's popularity as a place to visit and experience is increasing each year and our impressive guest arrivals numbers demonstrate the emirate's growing international appeal as a value-for-money destination. We are targeting a 10 per cent increase in the number of guest arrivals this year with our strategic focus on six specific markets which we believe offer the best growth potential – the UK, Germany, India, China, United States and the GCC region.
"Already we have registered strong figures this year which is encouraging and we expect to further reap the benefits of our global destination campaign aimed at encouraging travellers to experience Abu Dhabi's extraordinary stories throughout the rest of the year. ATM along with other prestigious international travel shows such as ITB Berlin and WTM in London enable us to position Abu Dhabi as a distinctive global destination built on unique experiences and rich cultural heritage."
Joining the delegation at the Abu Dhabi pavilion for the first time this year will be Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, TDIC, Cleveland Clinic, Department for Economic Development, Tourism Police and the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs. The pavilion will be split across Abu Dhabi's three distinct regions – Al Dhafra, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi city with stakeholders allocated space according to the region they are representing.
Also present at ATM will be Louvre Abu Dhabi, due to open later this year, Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Al Ain Oasis, Cruise Abu Dhabi and Wahat Al Karama – the permanent monument to honour the country's martyrs. TCA Abu Dhabi's overseas offices from the UK, India and CIS will also be participating for the first time at ATM. Particular emphasis will be placed on highlighting new products among the emirate's expanding portfolio of attractions, experiences and events including Al Ain Oasis, the UAE's first curated UNESCO World Heritage site visitor experience, and the newly opened 175-room Aloft Al Ain hotel attached to the iconic 25,000-seat Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.
Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau - a division of TCA Abu Dhabi - will be at ATM to highlight its recent achievements and encourage more Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) business into the emirate. Last year the Bureau recorded its best ever year by leading and supporting bids to host a number of key conferences in the emirate in the coming years.
The Bureau's achievements were recognised by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) which has seen Abu Dhabi now rise to 73rd position for cities which attract international associations annually, making the UAE capital the fastest-growing destination in the Middle East. Among the key events booked for the emirate this year are World Skills – the world's largest vocational skills competition – which is set to take place in October in Abu Dhabi with 7,000 participants expected.
Later in December, up to 15,000 members of the global diabetes community will meet in the emirate to take part in the International Diabetes Federation 2017 Congress attracting more than 200 speakers, 230 national diabetes associations from 170 countries and high level participation
TCA Abu Dhabi will also use ATM as a platform to reveal details of its year-round calendar of events and festivals including a revamped Abu Dhabi Summer Season, this year being held between July 20th and August 20th, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair being held from April 26th to May 2nd, the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of November and the annual Mother of the Nation Festival on the city's Corniche.
Among stakeholders at the Abu Dhabi pavilion will be Al Ain Zoo, which was founded in the ‘Garden City' in 1968 by the late Sheikh Zayed, former President of the UAE, and now houses 4,000 animals to become one of Abu Dhabi's most popular family attractions. The zoo will be releasing details of a series of new attractions opening shortly including a Children's Discovery Garden, an Oasis Garden and an African Village.
Last year the zoo opened the world's largest man-made safari, giving visitors the chance to get up close and personal with more than 250 animals, all in a natural habitat. — SG

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