Abu Dhabi hotels to target Indian visitors in 2013
Emirate opens new office in India to attract more Indian guests to UAE
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has opened a destination representation office in India as it looks to increase visitor numbers to the emirate, persuade those already travelling to stay longer and to win major corporate event business for the destination.
India has been identified by the TCA Abu Dhabi as having huge potential, with Abu Dhabi less than three hours flying time from most Indian cities and with 124 flights a week linking nine Indian destinations with Abu Dhabi International Airport.
“We have reaped dividends from our ‘toe in the water’ approach, with India now being our second largest overseas market for hotel guests after the UK. You can gauge our aspirations of the market by the fact that we are launching our first international road show for 2013 and we chose to have it in India,” explained TCA Abu Dhabi international promotions manager Mubarak Al Nuaimi.
From January to the end of November 2012 some 125,180 Indian guests stayed in Abu Dhabi hotels and hotel apartments, a 30% increase on 2011, and they accounted for 496,581 guest nights, a 34% rise.
Indian guests are also staying in Abu Dhabi’s hotels for an average of 3.97 nights.
“Should growth trends for the UK and India continue as they have been for the past 12 months, there is every likelihood that India will be Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market for hotel guests in 2014,” added Al Nuaimi. “There is absolutely no doubt that India will play a key role in assisting us attain our 2013 target of 2.5 million hotel guests.”
News of the Abu Dhabi’ full-time presence in India came as TCA Abu Dhabi, along with its trade partner Lama Tours, led a 12-strong industry delegation representing attractions, hotels and airlines on a five-day, whistle-stop road show promotion across five cities in the country.
The road show is taking in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. The visit to Ahmedabad is the emirate’s first promotion in the Gujarat commercial capital and is aimed at leveraging the recent launch by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, of a daily service to Abu Dhabi International Airport.