IN a special ceremony at the 12th World Travel & Tourism (WTTC) Global Summit in Tokyo, the WTTC officially handed over to Abu Dhabi the hosting rights for the 13th Global Summit to be held in April/May next year.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Etihad Airways are officially hosting next year’s summit – the biggest annual gathering of travel & tourism leaders – which will bring almost 1,000 international travel and tourism leaders to the UAE capital.
With the symbolic handing over of a ‘globe’ to James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, the WTTC’s president & CEO David Scowsill said: “In awarding the 13th summit hosting to Abu Dhabi we were conscious of the infectious enthusiasm of its government and industry agencies, the destination’s increasing accessibility and standards of capability and its impressive evidence of green tourism growth as a key development strategy.”
Commenting on the handover, Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, said the entire Abu Dhabi travel and tourism industry is fully behind the summit.
“We will look upon those attending next year’ summit as partners, whether existing, or potential, and I know this is how our local industry is viewing the event,” he said. “It is a platform for us to come together, to engage with each other and strike up new ventures, initiatives and relationships.”
The director general added that 2013 Summit delegates would find much more to see and do in the UAE capital than ever before.
“We have many more attractions, new beach resorts on Saadiyat Island, new city centre hotels and a new golf resort. By this time next year, we will have opened another two major resorts – one on a beach, another fronting a mangrove forest and we will have welcomed more international names to the destination – Accor and Ritz-Carlton amongst them. Yas Island will also, at the end of this year, open the UAE’s largest waterpark.”
Hogan said Etihad Airways was looking forward giving many of the WTTC delegates their first taste of Arabian hospitality on board their flight to Abu Dhabi for next year’s summit.
“Today Abu Dhabi is an exciting place to be and I have no doubt WTTC delegates will enjoy the city’s hospitality and be amazed at its energy when they attend the Summit in 2013.”