Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in partnership with Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia is set to run the first of its annual trade familiarisation events this year, with plans for 50 Australian travel agents to visit Abu Dhabi this September and a further 50 early next year.
The first group of agents, the highest achievers from an Australia-wide incentive programme by Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia will be invited to experience Abu Dhabi from 15-20 September 2015. The agents will journey through the emirate on one of three familiarisation itineraries before converging on Yas Island for a spectacular Arabian farewell.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Country Manager Michael Woods says travel agents remain vital to the Abu Dhabi tourism industry as it’s one of the most effective channels to engage with those considering a visit or extended stopover in the Arabian Peninsula.
“Providing these agents with the opportunity to experience captivating culture, breath-taking luxury and the warmth of Arabian hospitality will allow them to more confidently sell Abu Dhabi to their clients. By partnering with Etihad and Virgin Australia, we’re certain these agents will be provided the trip of a lifetime and be even more inspired to promote our Emirate,” said Woods.
The familiarisation trip comes as TCA Abu Dhabi figures reveal a 20% growth in visitor arrivals for the first four months of this year, resulting in more than one million visitors staying in the emirate’s 161 hotels and hotel apartments. The increase in visitor arrivals has prompted the Authority to increase the 2015 guest arrivals target from 3.5 million to 3.9 million.
“With arrivals on the rise and an increase in air capacity by Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia who now fly between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth direct to Abu Dhabi daily there is no better time for TCA Abu Dhabi to increase its presence in Australia,” added Woods.
TCA Abu Dhabi has also announced the appointment of Kris Taute to lead Trade & MICE promotions within its Australia office.
Kris joins the organisation from Tourism New Zealand based in Sydney where he led a number of trade initiatives including the rollout of the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme, extensive partnership marketing activities and some of the largest Mega Famil programmes seen in Australia. Kris has also held sales, marketing and operations roles at Destination NSW, Qantas and Air New Zealand.
The arrival of the Aussie agents will be one of many major Australian travel trade initiatives to be staged by TCA Abu Dhabi this year, that includes its four city pan-Australia roadshow set to visit Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney in early August, continuing with ‘Discover Abu Dhabi’, the emirate’s brand new online training programme which is due to launch in Australia next month.
For more information on the agent incentive and your chance to win a spot on the Abu Dhabi Agent Mega Famil visit the Etihad Agent Website.