The Indian Travel Trade Expo which is being held alongside the TAAI Convention was inaugurated at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) is aiming to attract more visitors from India as the Indian market holds huge potential as it experiences growth.
To further boost the growing business relations with the Emirate, India’s leading travel agents have been urged to seize the potential of Abu Dhabi’s diverse tourism offering.
His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of c said that the outbound Indian market is of paramount importance to the Emirate as it is now the largest overseas source of hotel guests.
In the first half of this year some 152,423 Indians checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels – a 20 pc year-on-year uplift and accounting for seven pc of all the emirate’s hotel guest stays. Indian guests currently stay in the emirate’s hotels for an average of 3.4 nights.
Ghobash added that with three airlines now operating more than 300 combined flights-a-week to Abu Dhabi from 15 different Indian cities, the Emirate could be promoted within India as a convenient short-break choice, a luxury wedding celebration destination and a world-class meeting and convention venue in less than four hours flying time.
The partnership between India and Abu Dhabi has been strengthened more through the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI)-TCA relationship. The Indian Travel Congress 2016 which was organised by TAAI from October 14 to 16 has been a huge success.
The 63rd Convention and Exhibition of TAAI has now inspired the Indian industry leaders to take a closer look at Abu Dhabi for its various wonders and the huge potential to attract Indians and Indian events.
Over 700 delegates attended the 3-day convention and the ITTE offered an excellent B2B opportunity to the visiting delegates to connect themselves with vendors from all over.
The convention was inaugurated by Neeta Bhushan, Acting Ambassador of India to Abu Dhabi; by the Director General of TCA, His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash and Sunil Kumar, President of TAAI, at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) actively supported the convention and played a key role in hosting the inaugural evening at the Emirates Palace; free visas to the delegates; pre-post tours to the delegates; city tours and extending overall support to ensure success of the event. The Director General of TCA also released the convention special issue of TAAI’s Travel & Tourism magazine NAMASTAAI.
Sunil Kumar said, “Organising a convention of this magnitude in less than 40 days strongly reflects the team work by TAAI and the invaluable support from our partners in the industry. The success of the event is a strong attribute of TAAI and its eminence.”
TAAI promotes ‘Inbound into India’ as an important subject
TAAI held its ‘Knowledge Sessions’ featuring subjects of relevance and importance encouraging the delegates to embrace change and be prepared for a fast evolving scenario that demands newer approaches to service the growing travellers. The convention theme ‘Tomorrow begins NOW’ with the tag line, ‘rise above the routine’, was well received and served as an excellent focus for the debates held.
TAAI also presented Namaste India Gala, promoting India and its significant industry contribution and leadership. It was based on the landmark in the history of Indian aviation, where JRD Tata had flown the first commercial flight, on October 15, 1932 from Karachi to Mumbai. TAAI honoured the airlines present at this occasion for their role in making India a country-in-great-demand for the growth of aviation. Airlines that fly into Abu Dhabi and Dubai like Etihad, Jet Airways, Oman Air, Emirates, Air India and IndiGO were a big support to the convention and offered special fares for the delegates.
A farewell gala dinner was organised on the last day, held at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, in YAS Island and was hosted by Yas Island.
The convention witnessed the large presence of media with about 40 media personnel from India, representing TV, digital, print and social media.
The India Travel Congress 2016 was illuminated with excellent arrangements; pomp and gaiety amidst luxurious arrangements; fascinating entertainment; city tours from TCA to some of the most iconic locations of Abu Dhabi and many other amazing happenings.
Industry professionals awarded
TAAI also presented three prominent industry awards. Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global was presented with ‘TAAI’s Award of Distinction’ for his outstanding leadership and growth in the industry; Dev Karvat, Managing Director of Trawell Tag Cover More was presented the ‘TAAI’s Awards of Excellence’ for his most significant contribution to the industry and Shyam Nijhawan, Chairman of the Nijhawan Group was presented the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ for his decades of contribution and support to the industry.