Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry is heading to Australia later this month for a three-destination road show aimed at capitalising on growing awareness in the continent.

The delegation, which is led by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), includes Etihad Airways, hoteliers, tour operators, and Yas Island. The group is set to visit Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane from July 29 to July 31.

“We anticipate meeting around 350 agents and consultants from both the leisure and [Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions] Mice segments, including key influencers from Australia’s top retail travel chains and wholesalers and tour operators who currently contract Arabian Peninsula products,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director of promotions and overseas offices at TCA.

The road show comes as more Australians than ever check into Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments. In the first five months of this year, 16,952 Australians stayed in the emirate’s hotels — an eight per cent rise on the same period last year.

Australians delivered 62,187 guest nights — a 15 per cent year-on-year upswing, and stayed an average of 3.67 nights — up seven per cent on last year.

Despite so, Abu Dhabi’s tourism stakeholders believe much more can be achieved from the Australian market, particularly from the visiting friends and relative and stopover trade.