His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has opened the second edition of the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM) exhibition. The exhibition at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) has attracted 215 companies from 50 countries.
The huge response of the major players of Business Tourism sector and a significant increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors to the three-day specialized travel and tourism show strongly reflects the growing global interest in Abu Dhabi as a luxurious and sustainable tourist destination.
Opened from 10 am to 6 pm, the exhibition has been organized by the Reed Travel Exhibitions with the support of the ADTA among others.
His Highness Sheikh Sultan, after visiting the stands of the participating organizations, said: ”
The GIBTM has generated great interest among the Gulf and International tourism sectors, a key indicator of which is the growth in the number of exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors this year compared with the debut edition last year.”
He considers the GIBTM to act as a major catalytic impact on the development of the Emirate and the region’s MICE tourism sector in 2008. He pointed out that Business & MICE Tourism is one of the most lucrative and high-growth segments in the global tourism industry, as well as having spin-off benefits in terms of international destination branding and facilitating overall trade and commercial linkages.
H.H Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun said the wide interest in the GIBTM exhibition demonstrates a positive milestone in the implementation of the strategic plans of the Government of Abu Dhabi and in particular its focus on the development of tourism infrastructure that centers on luxury leisure facilities and services to showcase the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a high-end and sustainable tourism destination.
All indicators, he said, show that the future of Business & MICE Tourism is bright and has a chance of real success and that it is due to play a major role in the overall transformation of the Emirate into a leading tourism destination. He pointed out that the GIBTM Exhibition acts as an important showcase for Abu Dhabi’s MICE infrastructure and services for meeting planners from all over the world.
ADTA Director General, His Excellency Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi said: ” The keen interest the Authority and its partners have taken to ensure the success of GIBTM is consistent with the plans of the Authority to support and promote the tourism sector and to provide the requirements of tourism-related activities, notably infrastructure and services exhibitions, conferences, meetings and businesses along with travel, hospitality and entertainment services, which make the experience of visitors and investors involved in the tourism sector productive and encouraging.
He underlined the importance of incentive tourism and services for the future development of the tourist sector in the Emirate and increase growth rates in all relevant activities, pointing out that the growth rates recorded in incentive and conference tourism exceeds the rates of the other tourist activities.
Mr. Al Muhairi said the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has a lot of natural and economic potentials, ambitious distinctive and competitive projects, as well as services and solid ties with international actors in the field of incentive tourism, in addition to the considerable support from the Government of Abu Dhabi which is determined to ensure the success of the tourism sector and to provide the prerequisites of development for this sector.
Mr. Ahmed Hussein, ADTA Deputy Director General for Tourism Sector, said: “The success achieved by the GIBTM and the capabilities of Abu Dhabi in hosting major exhibitions and conferences have brought together international experts and decision-makers from the region and beyond. The annual event also provided new partners and alliances for the ADTA and other stakeholders. The positive direct influence of the MICE in moving the wheels of tourism sector in Abu Dhabi is well reflected with GIBTM’s success over the years. At the ADTA, we are keen on and working for enhancing the share of Business Tourism in line with the stated objectives of the ADTA.”
The ADTA Stand (Number D 100) features 20 co-exhibitors and four sharing companies. The stand features a Cultural Zone in addition to other facilities for the participants and visitors. Local architecture and culture have been taken into considerations in designing the stand. There are 20 booths and four exclusive corporate corners at the stand.
The ADTA co-participants represent a broad spectrum of the emirate’s burgeoning tourism industry in general and Business Tourism players in particular. This includes hotels and resorts, tour operators, golf clubs and the operator of airports in the emirate.
The ADTA has allotted corporate corners for of its four companies that are sharing the stand. These are: Abu Dhabi International Airports Company, Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Danat Hotels and Resorts/ NCT & H, and Emirates Palace.
The co-participants are Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi Travel Bureau, Alpha Tours, Armed Forces Officers Club, Beach Rotana Hotels and Towers, Crown Plaza, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel, Hilton Hotel Abu Dhabi, Kurban Tours, Mafraq Hotel, Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Hotel Al Ain, Millennium Hotel, Novotel Centre Hotel, Safe Travel Agency, Shangri-la Qaryat Al Beri, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel, Le Meridien Hotel, Le Royal Meridien Hotel and Travco.