Tourists at the UAE Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi. The tourism authority targets two million hotel guests by the end of this year and 2.3 million by the end of 2012. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News archive

Abu Dhabi: The capital's tourism industry is gearing up for a chance to learn some of the best developed attraction techniques created by Disney — the corporation that gave us ‘the happiest place on earth'.

The Disney Institute, which showcases the best practices of its parent corporation, will be in Abu Dhabi from October 31 to November 2 to discuss their methodology as part of a series of seminars organised with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) on industry leadership, improving service quality and better management of the sector's human resources.

"We have teamed up with Disney because of its proven track record in providing exceptional experiences to their visitors…we want our industry partners to apply the same benchmarks and approach that has made Disney world famous," Nasser Al Reyami, ADTA'sTourism Standards Director, said.

He added: "[The] Disney Institute facilitators will share the successful business model of the Walt Disney organisation and its affiliates with our industry partners and ADTA staff. Since our targets for hotel guests are two million by the end of this year and 2.3 million by the end of 2012, [this will allow] Abu Dhabi's tourism sector [to] learn from Disney's stories on how it [was able to] achieve building successful attractions and internationally renowned tourism destinations for young and old alike." Saeed Kareem, a sales manager at Arabian Nights Tours LLC, also stressed the unaddressed potential for family oriented tourism in the emirate, pointing out that organisations within the industry must look to see how they can tap into this niche more effectively.

"While having international seminars is great, especially with the Disney Institute, there is not enough being done to develop family-based tourism in Abu Dhabi, despite the fact that this has become an emerging trend in many international locations, even Las Vegas in the US, which is usually known for its adult-based entertainment, is now creating child-friendly venues and events. Despite the establishment of many high profile and family friendly attractions such as Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit, more must be done to enhance this market segment," he said.

Kareem added: "This could be done through providing more facilities, greater flexibility for families to check in and out of hotels and other elements that can be explored to encourage them to not only visit but also to return."

Peter Goddard, Managing Director at TRI Hospitality, agreed, noting that one of the criticisms faced by the industry in the UAE compared to regions such as Asia is that the level of services provided is not up to the expectations set by visitors.

"While having such a seminar is useful for the industry, its not enough to simply have theoretical discussions about best practices, you need to make sure that you teach the right people," he said.

What is the Institute?

The Disney Institute was created to showcase Disney's best practices that easily adapt to other organisations. One of the most recognised names in professional development, Disney Institute travels the world offering engaging seminars, workshops and presentations, as well as fully customised programming. Immersive learning experiences are also offered at Disney destinations globally, enabling participants to go behind the scenes and see firsthand how business theory drives operational excellence.

Source: www.disneyinstitute.com

If you wish to register for the seminars you can do so online by logging on to ADTA's corporate website - www.abudhabitourism.ae  - click on ‘register' on the top left hand side of the home page and create a personal account with a username and password then go to ‘Training Programmes' to book.