ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi has launched its first outbound tourism promotional drive in Africa targeting leading travel operators to encourage more visitors to the emirate.
For the first time in Africa, a delegation from Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, and supported by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, held a dedicated tourism workshop in Cairo, attracting 120 leading travel agents and tour operators from across the Egyptian capital.
The move follows hard on the heels of a 15-strong Egyptian trade familiarisation trip to the emirate when the Arab Republic’s top outbound producers discovered the destination’s hotels and attractions in Abu Dhabi City and Yas and Saadiyat islands.
The African insight into Abu Dhabi’s expanding attractions, hospitality and destination portfolio comes as TCA Abu Dhabi aims to open up the continent’s burgeoning outbound market and win over a greater share.
“We see significant potential from Africa overall and Egypt in particular. With Saudi Arabia currently accounting for the lion’s share of Egypt’s outbound market, with people travelling for Haj and Umrah, there is opportunity for Abu Dhabi’s emerging Halal tourism stopover propositions to take hold,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions and Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways currently operates 21 weekly flights from Cairo to Abu Dhabi International Airport, while Egypt Air operates 11 flights a week from the same city.
More than 100,000 Egyptians have already checked into Abu Dhabi’s 157 hotels and hotel apartments this year, cementing the market as one of the emirate’s top 10 hotel guest performers.
“Egyptian travel industry representatives have been left impressed by our product diversity and are interested to develop packages to Abu Dhabi, and through collaborative travel trade endeavours with Etihad Airways, we look forward to a sustained period of growth,” added Al Nuaimi.
TCA Abu Dhabi ‘s African push comes as Etihad Airways plans daily flights from Entebbe in Uganda starting this May.