Top Australian tour operators in Mega Abu Dhabi 'Eye Opening' mission
- United Arab Emirates: Monday, March 18 - 2013 at 11:12
- PRESS RELEASE
One hundred and twenty of Australia's top travel agents have been on a fact finding mission to Abu Dhabi as the emirate aims to increase its tourism market share from the Southern hemisphere.
And the trip, which included tours of many of the emirate's top leisure products, proved a success with the group, signaling an enhanced push by Australia's top travel agents to increase emphasis on Abu Dhabi.
"It has certainly been a big eye opener for me to come to Abu Dhabi. The extent of things to do and quality of the facilities we've seen - the hotels, the infrastructure, roads, the wonderful relaxed attitude the local people have for the tourists - it's really quite staggering. The visit has been positive and added to my knowledge of the destination. I am confident that my clients will have a great time in Abu Dhabi and be warmly welcomed as I've been pretty much blown away by the fact that everyone is so enthusiastic that we've come here," said Owen Torpy from Yarra Valley Travel in Victoria.
Whilst in the emirate on the three day trip, the group stayed at a range of Abu Dhabi's finest hotels including the five-star, beachfront Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Le Méridien Hotel Abu Dhabi, Hilton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi.
They visited the UAE capital's Corniche, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - just named one of the world's most talked about attractions by TripAdvisor - the Mina Zayed date and fish markets, Heritage Village, Falcon Hospital and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world's largest indoor theme park with the world's fastest roller-coaster.
They also headed out into Abu Dhabi's vast desert for a Sundowner Safari and dinner and rounded out the trip with a farewell dinner at the iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel, the only hotel in the world straddling an F1™ race track.
"Abu Dhabi has exceeded my expectations and has changed my perception of what it offers for my clients. I actually came in here a little bit vague, not knowing quite what to expect, but I now have a whole different experience that I can relate to my clients. I'm a lot more confident now that I've been here, and visiting the attractions and seeing the hotels will help me sell more effectively. The whole place has been amazing, but the desert dune safari experience has been a highlight my clients will certainly enjoy," added Cameron Keith, Flight Centre Corrimal of New South Wales.
Increased air links between Australia and Abu Dhabi have increased the number of Australians staying in the emirate, with Etihad Airways currently operating 28 flights a week from Australia, with departures from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and Virgin Australia operating three flights a week from Sydney.
Last year saw a 5% increase in Australians staying in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments over 2011, resulting in 36,659 guests accounting for 118,289 room nights - figures Creative Holidays' National Events and Programmes Manager, Belinda Herbert, believes could increase after the trip.
"Our objective is for the agents to experience the destination and take away their own personal highlights to help sell our Abu Dhabi product. The wide range of leisure experiences from the city to desert, Ferrari World and Yas Viceroy have been highlights for many, but exposure to the wide range of activities and attractions will help us grow the importance of the destination within our portfolio," she said.
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