By Joanna Hartley
Airline working with local firms to develop branded leisure, business activities.
Etihad Airways has announced it is forming its own destination management company (DMC) that will provide leisure and business activities in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE.
The airline is currently in discussions with local tourism partners on developing tours, desert safaris, event management, bespoke experience packages and VIP services, which will all promoted under one brand, according to a statement on the WAM news agency.
The new DMC will also work closely with Etihad Holidays, which will publish its first dedicated Abu Dhabi and UAE brochure in April, and its workforce will be more than 50 percent Emirati, the statement added.
“Abu Dhabi continues its impressive growth towards becoming a key global business and leisure destination and the Etihad Airways destination management company will be a central part of achieving these ambitions,” said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' chief commercial officer.
Abu Dhabi was named in 2007 as one of the world's top 10 destinations by the UK's largest online travel agent, expedia.co.uk, and won the World Travel Award for 'best new tourism destination' in the same year.
During 2007, Abu Dhabi received some 1.45m hotel guests and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority’s five-year plan for 2008-2012, has a target of 2.7m visitors by the end of 2012 - a rise of 12.5% over initial projections made in 2004.