x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

TCA looks to double subcontinent interest

TCA Abu Dhabi is promoting the capital in India after robust performance from the Indian market in the first half of this year.

Indian travellers comprised the largest nationality checking into Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments in the first half of the year. Christopher Pike / The National
Indian travellers comprised the largest nationality checking into Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments in the first half of the year. Christopher Pike / The National

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) has roped in a global travel company to showcase to India the Emirates' capital city .

The London-listed TUI Travel will promote Abu Dhabi destinations, such as the Yas Island attractions and Sheikh Zayed Mosque, through packages from three nights to a week.

As part of the partnership, TCA is holding a month-long campaign at TUI India's office in Select Citywalk Mall in New Delhi's well-heeled neighbourhood of Saketuntil August 31.

"India is one of the important destinations for us as it is close - only a three-hour flight away - there are daily flights and lately more Indians have been coming to Abu Dhabi," said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, TCA's director of promotions and overseas offices.

"But India is a big country and we have to do it in more destinations, such as Mumbai and Ahmedabad."

Indian guests look for hotels with access to golf courses, beaches and shopping malls, he said.

In the first half of the year, Indian travellers comprised the largest nationality checking into Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments, pipping British travellers who long held the top position as a source market.

Of the 1.3 million guests who stayed in Abu Dhabi during this period, more than 80,000 were Indians, a rise of 22 per cent during the same period last year.

They stayed on average for four nights, longer than last year.

"We hope to double that number for the rest of the year," Mr Al Nuaimi said.

TUI India is one the travel companies that TCA is in partnership with to tap the market. The others include Thomas Cook and Lama Tours. The capital will also have increased air access to India through Etihad Airway's 23 per cent stake in Jet Airways.

Etihad flies to nine destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Besides promoting the Western Region with its desert islands, TCA Abu Dhabi is also positioning Abu Dhabi as a cultural hub, citing the planned Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, TUI Travel reported an operating profit of £87 million (Dh498.1m) in the second quarter, up by £13m over the same period last year.

 

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