ABU DHABI — Abu Dhabi is devising a cruise tourism strategy and visitor enhancement programm, which will be ready by the end of next year to boost number of passengers and operators to the emirate, a top official said.
The cruise tourism has been identified as a key growth segment for Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry. The emirate, which has diversified away from economic dominated economy, has enjoyed strong growth in the cruise tourism business over the last decade, with the number of passengers disembarking in the capital rising from 10,000 in 1999 to 100,000 in the 2008-09 season.
For the 2009-10 winter season, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority or ADTA believes it will attract closer to 200,000 passengers, a figure it hopes to triple by 2030.
Director, Strategy and Policy at Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Lawrence Franklin said that the number of vessels stopping in Abu Dhabi have grown to 50 up against 10, a year in the last decade. He expected the number to grow further to 60 ships in the coming winter season.
“To help facilitate this growth, we have put the framework in place for good planning, good infrastructure, strong marketing and industry co-ordination,” added Franklin.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi has rolled out the red-carpet to welcome 2,700 passengers and crew of Italian operator Costa’s flagship Lumionsa cruise ship, on its maiden tour to the region.
As part of Costa Cruises’ newly-launched five stop, seven-day winter cruise programme, the passengers and crew of the Luminosa were the first to experience Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority’s interactive visitor information centre at Abu Dhabi Terminals, Mina Zayed Port.
The new facility is designed to introduce passengers to the emirate’s customs and traditions as well as facilitate tour, hotel and attraction bookings.