Abu Dhabi targets Chinese market
Chinese visitors have increased 31 percent this year
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has turned its new office in one of Beijing's prime commercial and shopping districts into a funky visitor centre adorned with images of Abu Dhabi.
“This is an investment in our overseas profile to bring added focus to Abu Dhabi’s increasing stature as an international tourism destination,” explained ADTA’s Director General Mubarak Al Muhairi, who performed the opening.
“The office is easily accessible and its prominence sends a clear signal to the Chinese travel trade and Chinese travellers that their patronage is extremely important to us.”
The opening brought the Chinese culture together with Abu Dhabi’s as Chinese artists performed the traditional ‘Lion Dance’ in celebration while a troupe of performers from Abu Dhabi demonstrated the traditional Ayala celebration dance. Mr Al Muhairi then dotted the eyes of the lion with red paint – a symbolic gesture which in Chinese culture signifies the birth of a new lion.
“I hope they are right and that Abu Dhabi’s roar resonates throughout this increasingly important market,” joked Al Muhairi.
ADTA has identified China as a key emerging market with increasing numbers of Chinese nationals staying in the emirates’ hotels. In the first four months of this year, the number of Chinese nationals staying in Abu Dhabi hotels rose 31percent to 5,887.
Recent forecasts from international tourism consultancy Tourism Economics put Chinese outbound travel in excess of 34.7 million by 2015 end – a rise of 22percent on this year’s 26.8 million expectations.
The authority has been staging, in conjunction with Hong Kong University Polytechnic, a number of courses aimed at educating Abu Dhabi’s travel and hospitality sectors on ways of meeting the specific needs of Chinese and Asian travellers.
“We have the right product and the right time,” said Al Muhairi. “We have good air access from China with Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, operating non-stop flights from Beijing to Abu Dhabi five times a week and looking to increase this to a daily service. We have the strong cultural and heritage offering that research shows resonates well with Chinese travellers, the luxury accommodation and attractions and increasingly polished levels of service excellence.”