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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Abu Dhabi launched online platform with major anchor customers to stimulate its post pandemic tourism recovery

Welcome to The World – the first customer generated online global travel and tourism video platform, where users book directly with suppliers and bypass commission-driven aggregators to access membership rewards and benefits – has launched a dedicated Welcome to Abu Dhabi page.

The platform’s new Welcome to Abu Dhabi initiative has won anchor support from key tourism providers in the emirate, including the Qasr Al Hosn national monument experience operated by the Department of Culture & Tourism Abu Dhabi, Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa, the W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island hotel, and Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.

Sitting under the platform’s UAE country page, which is notching up an average monthly online reach of 10.3 million, Welcome to Abu Dhabi is expected to help “stimulate” the emirate’s post-pandemic tourism renaissance, according to Stefanie Schachtschabel, Founder & CEO of Welcometotheworld.com.

“This is a timely initiative which will help stimulate Abu Dhabi’s post-pandemic tourism recovery,” explained Schachtschabel. “We are mobilising the platform’s expanding stakeholder base to jointly promote Abu Dhabi and give power back to travel and tourism industry operators.

We passionately believe that by inspiring, welcoming and directly connecting travelers to Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s tourism sector can thrive sustainably.”

Schachtschabel says the launch underpins the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) call for action to revitalise the industry following its 2020 global losses of US $3.8 billion, and to stave off further losses which WTTC predicts could reach US $4.7 billion if not urgently addressed.

“Travel and tourism needs an unprecedented boost with public and private partnerships crucial to recovery and domestic tourism essential for short-term revenue streams,” added Martie Daems, Managing Partner for Welcome to The UAE, the first franchise of welcometotheworld.com. “We are convinced of the power of digital conversion and video’s potential to build trust. We believe Welcome to Abu Dhabi will aid the local recovery process.”

‘Tourism 365’, which was recently launched under Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company’s (ADNEC) broad new role in supporting the growth of the emirate as a tourism destination, has jumped onboard as a key partner for Welcome to Abu Dhabi.

“With ‘Tourism 365’ we are focusing on creating experiential travel opportunities for tourists coming to Abu Dhabi. Platforms such as Welcome to Abu Dhabi will help enhance the emirate’s regional and global visibility, as well as stimulate the tourism sector locally. Co-operations with likeminded companies is vital to support the growth of Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination,” said Roula Jouny, Executive Director, Tourism 365.

The video content disruptor unites tourism sector providers in 175 global destinations to jointly attract and welcome travelers to destinations by gathering local influencer content which is curated by welcometotheworld.com’s own experienced local team. It will now showcase Abu Dhabi’s most popular and recommended hotels, restaurants, attractions, and experiences to the platform’s current audience base, of which the 54.8% majority comes from Asia and Europe.

“Our membership base of travel and tourism buyers now have a purchasing avenue that enables and empowers them to support local businesses via the platform’s book direct functionality. We are creating more value for stakeholders by ending their over-reliance on commission-heavy online travel agencies and accommodation aggregators,” added Schachtschabel.

Unveiled as one of the first Welcome to Abu Dhabi partners, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Abu Dhabi has commended the platform’s support towards the emirate’s hotel ecosystem: “Welcome to Abu Dhabi is a great channel that helps drive direct bookings to our hotels and resorts. The use of video content provides a 360 overview of the offerings our exceptional hotels have, whilst also enhancing the booker’s experience,” said Mujahid Mansoor, Cluster Director of Marketing, PR & Communications, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Abu Dhabi. Members create online merchant profiles via a free-of-charge option or a fixed yearly fee which leverages the platform’s content revitalisation features, while travelers sign up for free to become members and unlock welcoming benefits.

The platform’s compelling video content proposition – a mix of repurposed brand-owned material and dedicated new video created by Welcometotheworld.com – gives users a comprehensive overview of each destination’s best options across Sleep, Eat, Do, Discover, Socialize, and Shop categories which they can click through to book directly at merchant-owned portals. Member merchants also benefit from rich customer data insights to aid future business decisions and tailor product and service offerings.

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