A major push is being planned to promote the global appeal of Abu Dhabi as a year-round tourist, business and cultural destination.
Etihad Airways has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Miral Asset Management, which oversees the development and management of hospitality, sports, entertainment, retail and leisure destinations on the emirate’s Yas Island, to support the initiative.
The three will join forces on various strategic activities including co-branded marketing and communication, market intelligence and data exchange, cruise industry support, loyalty and affinity programmes, and business and leisure events within the Abu Dhabi and around the world.
Etihad Airways will co-ordinate more closely with TCA Abu Dhabi across a range of B2B and B2C projects. It will continue to grow the established ‘Essential Abu Dhabi’, ‘Abu Dhabi Now’ and ‘Access Abu Dhabi’ trade and consumer programmes.
These include an integrated destination management campaign focused on key tour operators and online travel agencies, providing incentives for management and familiarisation trips.
Miral and Etihad Airways will enter into a destination-driven relationship in which Hala Abu Dhabi, the airline’s destination management subsidiary, will provide a range of tourism, marketing and distribution services, including product development, global distribution and digital capabilities.
The move comes within weeks of Abta confirming Abu Dhabi as the venue for its 2016 Travel Convention.
Miral chief executive, Mohamed Al Zaabi, said: “Abu Dhabi is a world-leader in state-of-the-art leisure, business and sporting facilities, and nowhere is this more evident than on Yas Island.
“Miral’s collaboration with Etihad Airways and TCA Abu Dhabi signifies our commitment to growing inbound tourism and long-haul stopovers to Yas Island.
“Together, we will increase in-market trade cooperation, international branding exercises, media and loyalty programmes, as well as education and PR strategies.
“This will increase passengers on Etihad Airways and visitor numbers to Yas Island, providing an immeasurable benefit to all travellers wanting a unique and authentic holiday experience.
“With Etihad Airways and the close proximity to Abu Dhabi’s International airport, Miral is excited to be spearheading a new wave of global interest in Destination Yas Island.”
Etihad Airways chief commercial officer, Peter Baumgartner, said: “Today we sign our joint commitment to make Abu Dhabi the best destination brand in the world.
“This unique and important partnership between the national airline, TCA Abu Dhabi and Miral will boost Abu Dhabi’s image exponentially.
“As the national airline, we continue to foster mutually beneficial relationships with the leading drivers of growth and progress in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.”
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority acting executive director tourism, Sultan Al Dhaheri, said: “Abu Dhabi’s diversity of experiences, landscapes and deep-rooted heritage combine to create a compelling visitor experience which has established the destination as a world-leading and progressive tourism, sporting and cultural hub. 2016 will see many more guests coming to our warm and welcoming home, and enjoying all the exciting vacation and business opportunities it has to offer.
“TCA Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways are once again joining forces with common objectives to promote the emirate, and to continue to enhance its word-class tourism infrastructure, and to establish a development plan for tourism in order to further strengthen the economic and social impact on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
“Etihad Airways, as the national airline of the UAE, is an invaluable and strategic partner for the development of the tourism sector in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.”
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