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September 7, 2009

Abu Dhabi aims to conquer Chinese market

Abu Dhabi’s business tourism suppliers are heading to China as part of a mammoth effort to promote the destination to this untapped, emerging market. The China push follows news that the country’s National Tourism Administration, which regulates the number of Chinese nationals leaving the country, has recently relaxed its visa restrictions for tour groups to the UAE, opening up a major new source market for the meetings industry.


From September 15, travel agencies will be allowed to send Chinese tour groups to the UAE for the first time – a move which is expected to more than double the number of Chinese tourists coming to the UAE over the next 12 months.


A delegation headed by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) will stage a ‘destination workshop’ with over 50 travel agents in Shanghai. This will be followed by its debut participation in the China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM).


“China is one of today’s most important markets and it is crucial that Abu Dhabi is well represented there,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, ADTA. He added that China’s outbound meetings and incentive market is valued at around US$14.6 billion and is growing by more than 15 percent annually.


“We cannot let this market go unnoticed. We have the right infrastructure, destination safety and service quality China requires – but we have to go out and meet it.”


Joining in the ADTA-led initiative will be Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, exhibition organiser IIR Middle East, Abu Dhabi Travel Bureau, Le Meridien, the Western Region Development Council and Al Masaood Travel.

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