Middle East & Africa
The emirate of Abu Dhabi is making its KOTFA debut as it looks to leverage improved Korea-Abu Dhabi air access and rising numbers of Korean hotel guests."The launch of Etihad Airways' daily service from Incheon to Abu Dhabi International puts Korea firmly within our sights and we believe our expanded attractions offering now features much which will appeal to the Korean traveller," said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, International Promotions Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).The authority is heading a delegation of key Abu Dhabi stakeholders including hospitality suppliers and ground handlers to 24th Korea World Travel Fair (KOTFA) as it looks to build on already rising Korean hotel guest momentum.In the first quarter of this year some 3,667 Koreans stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels - a 143% rise on the first three months of 2010. The growth pattern began last year with some 8,368 Koreans staying in the emirate's hotels - a 102% rise on 2009."There are more Koreans travelling to Abu Dhabi due to increased trade links in the healthcare, plastics and energy industries in which Korean companies have been awarded significant contracts in the United Arab Emirates' capital," explained Al Nuaimi."We foresee this trend growing with an increasing number of Koreans taking up residency in Abu Dhabi which usually leads to a rise in the visiting family-and-friends traffic." Abu Dhabi's tourism offering has expanded hugely over the past 12 months with the opening of new golf courses, resorts and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi - the world's largest indoor theme park with the world's fastest roller coaster."We believe we have much that will resonate with Korean visitors - most notably our golf offering which now includes three championship-ready courses within a 25 kilometre radius, another 18-hole, all-grass facility in our heritage city of Al Ain and an intriguing sand course course to the international airport." Korea is now regarded as an emerging source market for Abu Dhabi, which plans to soon have a Korean version of its consumer website - visitabudhabi.ae - and is busy translating its destination collateral into Korean.
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