A portfolio of leading hotels, resorts, tour operators and attractions representing Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry will travel to Berlin, Germany to showcase the best of the emirate at one of the world’s largest travel trade exhibitions.
Led by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), more than 50 partners and stakeholders will join the trade mission from 9-13 March to highlight the diverse appeal of the emirate, and its hotels and attractions as a world-class destination for travellers.
ITB Berlin, now celebrating its 50th year, attracted more than 114,000 visitors to the event last year with 180 countries and regions around the world represented.
Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director, Promotions and Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: ITB is one of the world’s largest and most important travel exhibitions and one that we have been participating in for more than a decade. We set up our office in Frankfurt 10 years ago and have witnessed considerable growth.
Germany is our sixth largest international source market and since 2010, German guest arrivals have increased at an average rate of 22 per cent per annum which adds up to an increase of 172% in the past five years.
Hotel guests from Germany are up 7 per cent in comparison to 2014 and reached a new record of almost 150,000 hotel guests in 2015. On average, German hotel guests stay for four nights and generated almost 620,000 guest nights last year. With our expanding portfolio of attractions, we aim to encourage longer stays and further growth in our German visitors market.
Among those joining the TCA Abu Dhabi delegation will be the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, responsible for the fourth most popular landmark attraction in the world the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – according to TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travellers Choice Awards.
H.E. Yousif Al Obaidli, Director General of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, said: The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is not only globally renowned as an iconic landmark and architectural masterpiece, but a symbol of the unifying nature of the Islamic culture. We aim through our visit, to introduce the Centre as a cultural tourism destination, highlighting the historic and artistic attributes of our emirate, while building relationships founded on mutual respect and the enhancement of cross-cultural understanding.
The centre also functions to develop as a religious observance destination, commemorating the humanitarian virtues of the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan. We also aim to consolidate coexistence between nations through innovative partnerships, religious, cultural and social programmes activities.
The Mosque attracts more than four million domestic and international visitors each year.
A large number of the emirate’s leading hotels will also be in Germany showcasing their properties including luxury beachfront residences, desert retreats, family friendly resorts and business-focused city centre options.
The multi-award-winning Jumeirah at Etihad Towers will join the delegation and look to cement recent impressive growth in guest nights from across Europe and double-digit growth from Germany over the past 12 months.
Stefan Fuchs, General Manager, said: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers had a very positive 2015, especially with regards to German and European visitors. In 2015 room nights booked by visitors from Germany increased by a 12% compared to 2014 figures. A steady increase in room nights by European guests was also recorded for 2015. We are upbeat regarding business potential for 2016/2017.
Key international markets of focus will continue to include Germany, the UK, France and Italy in Europe.
ITB will again prove an important platform for Jumeirah at Etihad Towers to promote our luxury facilities, hospitality services and expertise. The objective of our involvement will be to connect and update our partners in the market, establish new business relationships and strengthen our current partnerships.
In 2015, the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel increased its share of European guests by 15% on the previous year and will use ITB Berlin to highlight the hotel’s 5-star credentials.
Dulce Ortega, Director of Sales and Marketing, said:Our prestigious hotel is home to an exciting world of recreational facilities such as bowling, shooting or paintball. The hotel offers eight rejuvenating F&B outlets with unique types of cuisine, luxurious rooms and sports facilities. Our plan for 2016/17 is to increase our share of the European market by between 40 to 50 percent through pursuing new agreements with tactical partners and having more exposure abroad.
Also joining the delegation will be a number of destination management companies and tour operators including Destinations of the World, 1001 Events, Orient Tours, Planet Travel & Tours, Premier Travel and Tourism and SNTTA Emir Tours.
Among them is Oryx International Tourism that specialises in halal, leisure, corporate and luxury tours tailored uniquely for clients preferences.
Babar Saeed, Managing Partner, said the company hoped to put Abu Dhabi in the spotlight during the 2016/17 season and create more awareness about the destination whilst also encouraging more government departments and companies to hold their business and leisure events in the emirate.
As part of the pavilion in Germany, TCA Abu Dhabi will also be promoting its Cruise Abu Dhabi options to promote the city and emirate as a cruise destination. The objective is to encourage more cruise liners to home port in the UAE capital while increasing awareness amongst tour operators about Abu Dhabi as a destination.
Last December, Abu Dhabi opened a new cruise terminal at Zayed Port with MSC Cruises, the Switzerland-based global cruise line – which ranks first in Europe, South America and South Afriica – the first cruise line to choose Abu Dhabi and the new terminall as its home port for the 2015/16 season.
A second German cruise operator, AIDA Cruises also allows embarkation for their Arabian Gulf cruises in Abu Dhabi, and Tui, Hapag-Lloyd and Phoenix Reisen also include the city as a regular port of call.
Besides cruising around the region, ships that include Abu Dhabi on their world voyages venture eastwards to India, the Far East and Australia and onward to the Pacific, or head back for their summer sun destinations of the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean or the Baltic.