Abu Dhabi looks to build on growing Brazilian tourist arrivals

April 21, 2014 3:40 pm

Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry is heading for the World Travel Market Latin America later this month with a nine-strong delegation out to nurture growing tourism traffic from Brazil.

Led by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), a dedicated pavilion at the trade show, which runs in Sao Paolo from April 23-25 will be looking to entice more Brazilian travellers onboard Etihad Airways’ daily service from Brazil’s commercial capital as arrivals from the country trend at double-digit growth.

“The Brazilian market, with its huge population and high available spend, is of enormous potential, particularly from the stop-over point of view as Brazilians travelling to the Far East and Australia can connect easily via Abu Dhabi and may choose to break their journey to rest and take in the sights,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Promotions and Overseas Offices Director, TCA Abu Dhabi.

In the first two months of this year, some 1,612 Brazilians stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments, which is an 83% rise on January and February last year. On average the Brazilian guests stayed 3.34 nights and they delivered in total 5,389 guest nights, which is up 37% on the two months comparison.

Such is the perceived potential of the market that one delegation member, Destination Management Company, Oryx International Tourism LLC, has appointed a local representative in Brazil to capture a share of the country’s outbound leisure market. Oryx, which is planning this year to launch exclusive summer and winter packages and event-based packages and which delivered 500 room nights to Abu Dhabi last year, says it’s looking for 2,000 room nights from the Brazilian market alone this year, with an average stay of four nights and expects the deliverables to double for 2015.

“When we’re in Sao Paolo we will be looking to establish long term business relations with Latin American tour and travel operators for the FIT, leisure and MICE segments to double our inbound arrivals,” said Babar Saeed, Managing Partner, Oryx International Tourism. “We are working on joint promotions for the Brazilian market with selective five star hotels in Abu Dhabi to include a special visa price offer as well as a leisure group offer.”

The five-star, beachfront Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is using the show for the launch of its ‘Around The World Honeymoon’ package that offers international visitors a value-packed, luxury experience of romance for honeymooners and couples that showcases the property’s gourmet and epicurean pedigree.

The package includes: hotel limousine airport transfers; a couple’s spa treatment at the Talise Spa; a night’s stay in a Club Suite; an ‘Around The World Dinner’ starting with special flower settings and a harpist/violinist on the terrace of its Scott’s restaurant followed by a progressive dinner throughout the hotel’s award-winning restaurants before rounding off the night in its Ray’s outlet. Breakfast the next morning will be on an exclusive beach setting and served by a private butler. The package costs AED12,000 (US $3,267) based on per room basis for two guests and is subject to a 10% service charge and 6% tourism fee.

“We have been seeing exceptional growth in numbers from Latin American guests,” said Doris Greif, the hotel’s General Manager. “While admittedly the number of room nights recorded by Latin American guests was initially quite small in 2012, by proactive outreach we have seen the market respond quickly, resulting in the number of room nights recorded by Latin American guests growing by 1,236% in 2013. Among the various Latin American markets, our top three, constituting over 80% of our Latin American guests are, in order of size, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Venezuela and Columbia make up the top five, which then constitute 92.5% of our total Latin American guests.

“The type of guests we have from Latin America are varied, and include both business and leisure travelers with a large number of them choosing Abu Dhabi as a stopover destination.

“Looking towards 2014/15, especially with regards the Latin American market, we are planning to build on the solid performance, networks and partnerships established in 2013 and establish new networks.”

Etihad Airways meanwhile is wooing the Brazilian market with some exclusive guest services, such as chauffeur services to and from airports and a 30kg baggage allowance on premium classes.

Meanwhile, the dedicated, UAE-based B2B travel industry wholesaler Destinations of the World has reported “very good and healthy growth of Latin America outbound business in 2013” which, it says, was largely leisure and stopover in origin. The company is now appointing a dedicated business development director specifically for the Latin American market.

And Desert Adventures Tourism is going to the show to specifically promote products it’s tailored around Abu Dhabi’s revamped Summer Season, November’s F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the December/January carnival hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in the UAE capital.

“Brazil and Latin America are now proving to be one of our main markets with a lot of clients stopping over to go to Asia,” said VermaMedha of Desert Adventures.

Meanwhile, making its Latin American debut at the show will be Abu Dhabi’s four-star Mafraq Hotel, which is looking to capitalise on stop-over traffic with its proximity to Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is only 15 minutes’ drive from the property.

“We are just five minutes from a major mall and have the rooms, restaurants and recreational facilities which can cater well to Latin America’s leisure, FIT and stop-over demand,” said FahimZaman, the hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

Also joining Abu Dhabi’s World Travel Market Latin America promotion are Destination Management Company Kurban Tours and local inbound operator Omeir Travel Agency.