Abu Dhabi’s diverse and multi-faceted golf tourism proposition has received a glowing thumbs-up from specialist Far East trade representatives eyeing potential new golf destinations, following a highly successful showing at last week’s four-day Asian Golf Tourism Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Comprising officials from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Hala Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways’ inbound Destination Management Company, and the emirate’s three championship-standard courses – Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Yas Links Golf Club – the Golf in Abu Dhabi contingent were among 200 suppliers from 16 countries and 146 buyers from 38 countries gathered at the show.
Collectively, the emirate’s Golf in Abu Dhabi stakeholders – all principal players in the umbrella marketing, communications, product packaging and distribution platform designed to increase inbound golf tourism – spent the week highlighting the destination’s unique product and infrastructure credentials to leading trade representatives from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.
Whilst promoting the diversity of Abu Dhabi’s golf, culture and leisure offerings, the emirate’s golf tourism stakeholders impressed specialist Asian trade representatives with their collaborative capacity to ensure quality on- and off-course hospitality experiences – from point of entry to point of departure.
“Abu Dhabi’s approach is refreshing and shows much promise for the future,” said Steven Zhang of Holf Golf, one of China’s premier golf travel retailers. “With the consolidated involvement of clubs, a national airline, government and hotels, we are safe in the knowledge that our guests will be treated to the renowned Arabian hospitality.”
With hundreds of specialist, high-end agents flocking to the convention, organised by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), Golf in Abu Dhabi proved extremely popular with international sales agents involved in selling golf packages to prospective Asian markets.
“Abu Dhabi has taken an admirable approach in its golf tourism programme,” said Peter Walton, President & Chief Executive, IAGTO. “As a one-stop-shop strategy, Golf in Abu Dhabi will certainly give the destination the best opportunities for long-term success in golf tourism.”
With so many of the world’s leading golf resorts and destinations represented in the Malaysian capital, Ken Kosak, General Manager of both Abu Dhabi Golf Club & Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, believes Abu Dhabi – which has identified golf tourism as a key delivery mechanism in its long-term inbound tourism objectives – has stolen a march on securing increased Asian business.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to share all aspects ofAbu Dhabi’s potential as a world-class golf tourism destination, whilst dually promoting the emirate’s modern auxiliary tourism infrastructure,” said Kosak. “As a collective group we’ve built relationships with core tour operator partners and ensured Abu Dhabi is front-of-mind in their coming sales seasons. The positive reactions we continue to elicit from international media are now being mirrored by the tour operators we’ve met – this gives us great confidence for the future,” continued Kosak.
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