German holidaymakers urged to come to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has teamed up with Germany to promote the capital as a tourist destination

BERLIN // Abu Dhabi yesterday launched a campaign that will result in attractions such as Yas Island being advertised across Germany, as the emirate aims to lure more tourists from that country.

The three-month campaign is a tie-up between the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and TUI, one of Europe's largest travel groups. Germany is becoming an increasingly important market, with the number of German hotel guests staying in the emirate growing by 26 per cent in January compared with the same month last year.

"We want to build on these green shoots of recovery which are being realised throughout the German-speaking markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland," said Detlef Haner, ADTA's country manager for Germany. It is hoped this will play a role in Abu Dhabi's wider aim of attracting a total of 2 million hotel guests this year, compared with 1.81 million last year.

As part of the initiative, the windows of 220 travel agencies in Germany will carry Abu Dhabi advertising, with running footage displayed on television screens, providing up to 150,000 weekly broadcasts to passers-by, the ADTA said. In addition, 500 major outdoor poster slots will run Abu Dhabi promotional material for a week, with 12,500 travel agencies featuring posters of the emirate's attractions.

The tourism authority said the campaign could generate up to 3,000 room nights in the last two quarters of this year and the first quarter of next year.

"It sounds like a very good tactical move," said Omer Kaddouri, the chief operating officer at Rotana, which manages more hotels in the capital than any other operator. "Considering Germany is one of the larger feeder markets for leisure, and with a recovery, it's only going to drive more tourists into Abu Dhabi," he said. "The investment seems like it's going to pay off for Abu Dhabi."

The ADTA said this week it expected 15 per cent growth in business visitors to the emirate this year to 1.5 million, an increase of 200,000 on last year.