ABU Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has embarked on a promotions drive to draw even more arrivals from China and South Korea after witnessing strong traffic from North Asia in 2013.
Between January and August 2013, the number of Asian travellers staying at the emirate’s 146 hotels and hotel apartments rose 26 per cent year-on-year for a total of 313,221 visitors. This growth was buoyed by a 40 per cent surge in Chinese arrivals.
China accounted for 27,378 visitors and 50,246 guest nights, a 43 per cent year-on-year increase, while 9,879 South Koreans visited Abu Dhabi, a 27 per cent year-on-year increase for 25,712 room nights.
Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director promotions & overseas offices, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “We have a particular challenge with the length of stay of Chinese guests – which is currently less than two nights – and we are working closely with our stakeholders to provide specific tailored products for these guests.
“South Koreans stay longer; they’re particularly fond of our expansive and diverse golf offering. Golf is proving productive for us with figures revealing that our trio of world-class, championship-ready golf courses hosted a record number of overseas rounds in Q1 this year.”
To tap this segment, TCA Abu Dhabi has launched the Golf in Abu Dhabi initiative to attract customers from markets including the UK, Germany, China, South Korea and Japan.
Meanwhile, to drive the city’s ambition of becoming a top 50 destination for association meetings within the next five years, the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau was formed earlier this year.
Al Nuaimi elaborated: “We have had some successes from Asia and are now focusing on promoting our Quick Win Advantage Abu Dhabi programme for corporate meetings and incentives. We are receiving a number of enquiries from Asia, mainly from the IT and pharmaceutical sectors in India, Pakistan and Singapore.”
TCA Abu Dhabi will also lead a delegation to ITB Asia in Singapore this year, comprising Yas Island – Abu Dhabi’s entertainment district and home to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Etihad Airways, the Grand Continental Flamingo Hotel, the City Season Al Hamra Hotel and Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island.
The NTO also plans to roll out a Korean language version of its online destination resource www.visitabudhabi.ae.
Said Al Nuaimi: “This is in the planning pipeline for early next year…The site is currently in Japanese and Mandarin, and Korean would be our 10th language version.”