Abu Dhabi heads to IMEX Imex With expanding business tourism: ADTA

WAM ABU DHABI, May 14th, 2009: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is to mount, along with 10 industry stakeholders, a strong destination business tourism proposition at the global meetings event IMEX, to be held in Frankfurt from May 26- 28.

Tour operators, Travel Agents, hotels and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), will join the Abu Dhabi pavilion in a joint promotion aiming at establishing Abu Dhabi as The Happening Place For Business Tourism.’ At the show, ADTA and its partners will be staging one-on-one pre-schedule presentations to some of the 3,684 hosted buyers from 58 countries which have registered for the show. It will also host two Advantage Abu Dhabi Happening’ events on its stand to brief buyers on the inherent opportunities of its Advantage Abu Dhabi business tourism initiative which incentivises meetings producers to bring events to the emirate.

“The IMEX audience is particularly important to us as the lion’s share of the buyers come from our two key markets of Germany, which accounts for 22% of the buyers, and the UK, representing 13%,” explained Gillian Taylor, Business Tourism Manager, ADTA.

“With Advantage Abu Dhabi, the emirate has taken a lead in providing significant opportunities for business tourism organisers and clearly demonstrated its determination to be recognised as the region’s most pro-active and business tourism-friendly destination.” Advantage Abu Dhabi (AAD) is a three-year initiative with the ADTA as lead arranger. It is aimed at catalysing and seeding innovative and viable business events across 12 key economic sectors. The ADTA will lead-arrange financial and/or non-financial resources to enable meeting planners and exhibition and conference organisers to actualise new business events in Abu Dhabi.

Structured as a venture capital-type apparatus, AAD is designed to support the lucrative MICE segment to realise the direct tourism benefits it engenders and to ensure that the business tourism sector serves as an important growth pillar for Abu Dhabi’s long-term economic, social, human resource and infrastructure development goals.

Business event organisers with a viable proposal can apply to tap into the AAD Initiative, which lists financial grants, governmental endorsement, leadership patronage, cost rebates and marketing support among its main levers.

Meanwhile, modelled estimates released by ADTA show the destination received 80,000 international hotel guests last year directly attributable to the meetings industry.

The estimates show the international meetings hotel guest staying an average of 2.7 days in the emirate with each spending a trip average of US $1,839 (AED 6,750).

“This is by no means the full picture of the meetings industry’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s economy as it does not take into account spend by the many UAE and regional visitors who make day trips to the emirate to attend its growing meetings portfolio. Also this vibrant sector delivers significant development and social benefits to the destination such as knowledge transfer, cross-cultural understanding and the identification of foreign direct investment opportunities,” explained Taylor.

Abu Dhabi’s business tourism profile is expanding with the emirate selected as the host venue for the 2010 World Ophthalmology Congress – the world’s longest established medical congress.

About ADTA: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) was established in September 2004. It has wide ranging responsibilities for building and developing the emirate’s tourism industry. These include; destination marketing; infrastructure and product development and regulation and classification. A key role is to create synergy in the international promotion of Abu Dhabi through close co-ordination with the emirate’s hotels, destination management companies, airlines and other public and private sector travel-related organisations.