Abu Dhabi is looking to boost tourist numbers with plans to target new source markets for 2018 in addition to the six primary key markets of China, India, UK, Germany, US and the GCC, said a report.
The UAE capital was on a tourism drive at World Travel Market (WTM), which opened in London on November 6 and concluded today (November 8), a report in WAM said.
"WTM London is an ideal platform to drive forward messages amongst key industry personnel from around the world to experience Abu Dhabi’s extraordinary stories and delve into our rich culture and heritage," the report said citing Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director, Tourism Sector.
Abu Dhabi has set its sight on cruise tourism, targeting a 5 per cent growth over the coming season with 350,000 passengers set to visit the emirate in 2017-2018, a report in WAM said.
The number of hotel guests also increased by 7 per cent until September over the same period last year, Al Dhaheri added.
"The Russian market is a key source market that we will focus on over the coming period in addition to Asian markets, particularly emerging economies.
"Abu Dhabi welcomed the first Azur Air charter flight from Moscow in October 2017. The flight was performed from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport by Boeing 737-800 with departure at 13 hours 05 minutes with a 100 per cent passenger load.
"Medical tourism will feature high on top areas of growth over the coming period," Al Dhaheri said.
He told that a campaign in collaboration with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi - will be officially announced by the end of this year and will start in January to boost medical tourism.
The emirate is targeting further increases in the number of guests from the UK by the end of 2018, following a 5 per cent increase in the number of British tourists visiting the UAE capital in 2017 to 173,103 as compared to 2016, he went on to say.
The opening of the new Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi airport, the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, this month, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum are all but expected to contribute to the emirate’s tourism growth, according to him.
Al Dhaheri referred to family-focused programmes that will contribute to a tangible tourism growth over Q4 of the year, including Dar Al Zain festival in Al Ain, New Year’s Eve Countdown Village and the Abu Dhabi Food Festival.
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