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MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM) - 28/02/2013

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(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Australia's top 100 travel agents are due in Abu Dhabi next month on a mega familiarisation trip hosted by Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) in conjunction with carriers Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways.

The group hails from retail travel agencies Australia-wide who are all top sellers of The Travel Corporation's iconic travel brands, including Trafalgar Tours, Contiki Holidays, Insight Vacations and Creative Holidays, as well as Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia.

Due in the emirate for a three-day destination fact-finding trip from March 7, they will visit capital's stunning Corniche, its magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - just named one of the world's most talked about attractions by TripAdvisor - the Mina Zayed date and fish markets, Heritage Village, Falcon Hospital and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world's largest indoor theme park with the world's fastest roller-coaster. They'll also head out into Abu Dhabi's vast desert for a Sundowner Safari and dinner and be treated to a farewell dinner at the iconic Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, the only hotel in the world straddling an F1 race track.

"Our aim is to more closely connect with these important influencers, convince them of our product so they can assist us in converting more Australian travellers into actual bookings for Abu Dhabi," said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions '&' Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.

"We see strong potential within Australia with our destination now benefitting from 31 flights a week from the country linking Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Abu Dhabi International. The potential is both as a stopover for those travelling to Europe and beyond and increasingly as a stand-alone destination. Currently Australian guests in Abu Dhabi hotels average a stay of just over three nights - we want them to know there is now much more to see and do in the emirate so we can expand this length of stay." Last year some 36,659 Australians stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments - a five percent rise on 2011. They accounted for 118,289 room nights.

Etihad Airways currently operates 28 flights a week from Australia, with departures from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with Virgin Australia operating three flights a week from Sydney.


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