Abu Dhabi 'leisure tourism in demand'
Abu Dhabi, March 12, 2013
Abu Dhabi’s leisure tourism offering is now taking hold amongst European travel majors with the emirate’s pavilion at ITB Berlin – the continent’s leading travel trade fair – receiving a record number of enquiries for packaging opportunities, said a senior official.
In the first three trade days of the exhibition – where 63 stakeholders promoted a product line of over 80 offerings including top attractions, luxurious beachfront resorts, city centre hotels, the Gulf's first integrated wellness medical centre and a sustainable desert retreat – Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) officials reported a 25 per cent uplift in industry meetings.
“It has been extremely encouraging for all,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, the director of Promotions & Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“We were busy handling 131 meetings, most with the biggest names in the industry, including TUI, FTI, Thomas Cook, Air Berlin and the German Travel Agents Association DRV," he stated.
According to him, the talks centred largely around proposed joint marketing campaigns which would focus on direct consumer mailings, promotions with the main online agencies and the hosting of major events.
Media interviews were also conducted with the main trade titles across Germany, Switzerland and Austria, said Al Nuaimi.
The overall consensus, he stated, has been that Abu Dhabi is now a serious leisure tourism contender, particularly with developments on Yas Island, with the opening of Yas Beach and the Yas Waterworld water park and with the major beach resorts on Saadiyat Island.
Interest was also very strong on the new beachfront Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal and the soon-to-open The St. Regis Abu Dhabi with it Corniche setting and private beach club.”
ITB was also the scene for the international debut of the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness which is due to open on Saadiyat Island next month, said Al Nuaimi.
It used the show to launch its bespoke ‘DNA 4 Life’ treatment and hospitality packages to key international trade partners. DNA Health Corp representatives conducted 30 meetings over the three trade days which sowed the seeds for a major strategic alliance with FitReisen, Germany’s largest health and wellness travel agency.
“We had been actively seeking premium luxury health and wellness tourism products to satisfy increasing client demand, and the tailored ‘DNA 4 Life’ treatment and hospitality packages are an ideal fit,” said Aline Weirich, the manager contracting & co-operations, FitREISEN.
“Over 80 per cent of our clients are aged 50+, and we are confident there will be an enthusiastic market for DNA’s all-inclusive packages combining wellness treatments with sunshine, relaxation and rejuvenation,” Weirich added.-TradeArabia News Service