Abu Dhabi was selected to host the conference, the blue ribbon event of the UK travel industry, following a successful joint bid by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Etihad Airways, the award-winning national airline of the UAE.
“I am delighted at the 2013 conference will be held in one of the world’s most exciting destinations,” said ITT Chairman, Dr. Steven Freudmann. “This will be the first time that ITT has held its conference in Abu Dhabi and we expect that, as usual, the conference will be a complete sell-out.” ITT, TCA Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways are now packaging post-conference experiences for delegates to encourage them to extend their stay in Abu Dhabi emirate.
“The UK has long been Abu Dhabi’s most productive overseas market in terms of hotel guest generation and this is a significant opportunity to ensure its travel industry is bang up-to-date with all the developments in the emirate so they can go back enthused and impressed with its increasing tourism offering,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. “The intended end result is to re-energise the UK industry on the destination so its members can increasingly recommend and convert interest to firm bookings.” The UK is also a key market for Etihad Airways which currently operates 35 flights a week from Britain to Abu Dhabi International Airport with thrice-daily, non-stop services from Heathrow and double-daily, non-stop services from Manchester.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted Abu Dhabi has been chosen to host the Institute of Travel and Tourism’s annual conference in 2013, another prestigious global event to take place in the UAE’s capital city.
“ITT delegates will get to enjoy the renowned modern Arabian hospitality while they are still on their way to Abu Dhabi, and we are thrilled to play such a central role in flying them on our services out of Manchester and Heathrow to our fast-growing and vibrant home.” ITT was established in 1956 and its members span the travel and tourism industry’s entire spectrum from tour operators and travel agents through to airlines, hoteliers, tourist offices and those involved in care hire, insurance and finance. Its members are primarily Senior Directors, Chairmen or Chief Executives of their companies.
The UK remains Abu Dhabi’s key overseas source market for hotel guests with 99,189 Britons staying in the emirate’s 131 hotels and hotel apartments in the first nine months of this year – a slight uplift of 1% on the same period last year. The average-length-of-stay of a British hotel guest in Abu Dhabi is 4.31 nights.