Travel agents across Asia have been booking more flights to Abu Dhabi than ever before, generating a 73% spike in volumes just in Q1 this year, according to leading technology company, Abacus.
This has catapulted the Emirate into the top 50 destinations of the world, picked by agents at over 20,000 Asia Pacific locations: no small feat with Dubai just 90 minutes away.
Indonesia’s numbers have doubled year-on-year, as volumes from Jakarta rival Abacus bookings on Hong Kong-Sydney and Shanghai-Singapore routes. India, with Mumbai three hours’ flying time, has also soared 48%, while affluent South Koreans are heading over in higher numbers too. Seoul to Abu Dhabi has lifted 22%, with Kuala Lumpur and Manila also sending 20% and 18% more passengers, respectively.
“With Asia’s insatiable appetite for experiential travel, fresh destinations are in great demand. Abu Dhabi’s got the cultural shift, stunning architecture, world-class attractions and immersive activities like desert camping,” explained Eric Tjetjep, Chief Finance Officer of Indonesia-based PT Dwidaya Worldwide Tour & Travel. “It’s a must-see, justifying the flights and hotel. Cruises will soon follow the same growth trajectory.”
Abacus CEO & President Robert Bailey added, “the Emirate has made tourism an investment priority, with Etihad Airways literally clearing a path to our region. In fact, the carrier was recently first to ticket with Abacus in China.”
All this explains the choice of Abu Dhabi for a ‘ground-breaking’ Asia Pacific travel industry conference. Abacus has chosen Yas Island with its own F1 race track for a mega industry gathering which has 500 representatives from the region’s top travel brands flying in.