Chinese visitors to Abu Dhabi rose 166 per cent in 2014

The number of visitors from China recorded in Abu Dhabi rose by 166 per cent in 2014 to 120,350 and the emirate is stepping up its campaign to attract more.

Twenty hotels, two attractions and a luxury shopping mall across Abu Dhabi have achieved Welcome Chinese certification organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in partnership with China Tourism Academy (CTA).

Welcome Chinese is a certification issued by CTA accreditation partner Select Holding to hospitality and attraction providers in 32 countries. Abu Dhabi is the first Middle East destination participating in the programme to provide services dedicated to Chinese travellers.

“We have all the ingredients to appeal to the Chinese market and praise the efforts of these trailblazers of the emirate’s hospitality industry,’ says Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau Director Mubarak Al Shamisi.

“As Chinese visitor travel habits become more sophisticated, so too are the efforts of the emirate’s tourism suppliers in meeting the opportunity to provide a growing mix of affordable, luxury aspirational products and experiences and a portfolio of services tailored to these Chinese guests,” he added.

“The Welcome Chinese programme was designed to bridge the gap between visitor expectations and the services the travel industry was providing, and I expect by welcoming more than twenty of Abu Dhabi’s finest tourism products, the Emirate will appeal to a growing number of Chinese travellers. This competitive advantage will provide immediate visibility for the destination,” says Select Holding president, founder and CEO Jacopol Sertoli.:

Six of Rotana Hotels & Resorts properties have achieved certification status: Al Ain Rotana Hotel, Beach Rotana, Hili Rayhaan by Rotana, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Yas Island Rotana and Park Rotana.

“China offers great potential for the leisure and MICE sectors, and the Welcome Chinese certification opens many doors of opportunity for us to tailor sales campaigns with the Chinese travel industry. We have dedicated Chinese-speaking colleagues across the group and are confident that this will give us a competitive advantage,” says Rotana’s Chief Operating Officer Guy Hutchinson after accepting the group’s multiple awards.

Also recognised at the certification ceremony were an additional five hotels, three attractions and   an additional shopping mall which have aligned their payment systems to the Union Pay model preferred by China’s travel industry, making it easier and more attractive for Chinese partners to do business with them.

Other participants are: Abu Dhabi’s Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace, Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, One to One Hotel the Village, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Royal Rose, Southern Sun Abu Dhabi and Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi.

These will be joined by IHG’s four Abu Dhabi-based properties Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Yas Island and InterContinental Abu Dhabi; Danat’s Al Ain Resort and two of Yas Island’s world-class attractions Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld.

The certified hotels, attractions and shopping experiences will receive increased visibility to the Chinese travel industry through roadshows, participation in international travel fairs, on- and offline marketing initiatives, and a presence on the HyChinese CTA website and social media channels.

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