Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is leading a nine-strong delegation of Abu Dhabi and Far East-based travel suppliers to Korea and Japan this week to stimulate visitor demand to the emirate.
The authority, along with Etihad Airways, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Minor International Hotel Group – operator of Anantara Resorts & Spa’s five luxury Abu Dhabi properties, Al Mafraq Hotel, and land based operators Arabian Adventures and Cozmo Travel will stage destination roadshows in Seoul and Busan in Korea from 25-26 August.
The roadshow then heads to the Japanese capital of Tokyo on August 28th, where the delegation will be joined by local tour operators Travco Japan and Miki Tourist – who through their partners represent home-grown hospitality group Jannah Hotels and Resorts’ deluxe Eastern Mangroves Suites and five-star full-service Burj Al Sarab Abu Dhabi properties.
The promotions come as officials push to further strengthen ties with the travel industry in each country and fulfil potential for growth highlighting the diversity of the emirate’s heritage and luxury propositions.
“We are delighted that Japanese and Korean tour operators have chosen to represent themselves alongside our Abu Dhabi-based partners to push their expanding portfolio of products to a travel industry audience seeking new products to sell,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions & Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“This is the first time that we have had the opportunity to bring in dedicated Abu Dhabi providers to our annual Korea and Japan roadshow, and together, we shall present a range of packages featuring Abu Dhabi’s luxury accommodation and heritage experiences aimed at stimulating further growth and which resonate for nationals of both countries,” added Al Nuaimi.
A spike in demand from South Korean nationals for the first six month of 2015 has raised guest arrivals by 15% compared to the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, 13,013 Japanese guests checked in to the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments in 2014, an increase of 5% over the previous year.
“One encouraging factor is that the number of Koreans who stay in our hotels is moving in the right direction given that guest arrivals last year were static at just over 14,000,” added Al Nuaimi.
Daily flights to the Korean capital Seoul, and twin services into the cities of Tokyo and Nagoya in Japan, will be key messages imparted by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, during the roadshow.
Increasing inbound travel from Korea and Japan by 25 to 30% is an objective for Ahmad El Mosfi, General Manager Abu Dhabi & Al Ain at Cozmo Travel, a UAE-based destination management company (DMC) for Air Arabia Holidays. “We will be launching a series of new Abu Dhabi culture, sports and adventure products next year which are relevant to the Korean and Japanese markets, and we will be promoting Abu Dhabi as a destination which can cater to all these needs.”
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s Mafraq Hotel will be promoting its special Fantazia Rooms and the refurbished recreation facilities and Korea’s expanding commercial ties with the UAE, and says it believes more can be achieved from both the Japanese and Korean markets.
“We are expecting to increase our Korean visitors by around 5 to 8% for 2015-2016 because of our location on the route to the Western Region’s Ruwais solar energy plant,” said Mariya Ivanova, the hotel’s PR and marketing manager.