Abu Dhabi targets the Italian market

Italian tour operators in Abu Dhabi
Italian tour operators in Abu Dhabi

In a bid to boost its inbound numbers, the Abu Dhabi tourism authority has charted out a major plan for Italy.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) recently partnered with various stakeholders to host chairmen, CEOs, general managers and directors of sales from 14 Italian tour operators, DMCs and retail travel groups.

“Italy has been a consistently strong European source market, but there remain clear opportunities to grow the sector further,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director of promotions & overseas offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.

According to statistics from TCA Abu Dhabi, the emirate welcomed 55,619 Italian hotel guests in 2014, up 19% over 2013, generating 239,650 guest nights from an average length of stay of 4.31 nights, well ahead of the emirate-wide average of 2.99 nights.

The ‘Focus Abu Dhabi’ round-table discussion discussed future and challenges of the Italian tour operator sector, and identified business and investment opportunities. The travel professionals looked to enhance Abu Dhabi’s presence in their brochures and boost 2015 arrivals by 10% while also extend stay to five nights.

Air capacity from Italy has increased by 66% in 2015 following strengthened connections between Etihad Airways and Alitalia with an expanded code share partnership offering 35 direct flights per week.

As a follow up plans, an Abu Dhabi delegation will push the message further during a visit to Milan as part of TCA Abu Dhabi’s extended pan-Europe Destination Road Show.

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