Abu Dhabi Tourism
Abu Dhabi Tourism Image Credit: supplied

Abu Dhabi: More than 7,000 travel agents have been trained over the past year on Abu Dhabi’s unique features and attractions as part of the Abu Dhabi Specialists E-learning Programme, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) said in a statement.

The programme was launched as part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and the consequent drop in travel and tourism. It saw more than 13,760 agents register from 17 countries to be trained as ‘Abu Dhabi Specialists’, with more than 7,000 completing the training. Courses and workshops were offered online to product managers, tour operators, home-based agents and other industry professionals.

The enhanced programme will now include three new modules to equip agents with knowledge about Expo 2020 Dubai, which begins on October 1, 2021; Abu Dhabi as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) venue; and Abu Dhabi’s cultural attractions.

“We are really heartened by the strong support from the global travel trade for this programme and we will be launching additional learning modules and expanding into new markets in Switzerland and Israel. Despite the last year being an extremely challenging period for the tourism sector, through this innovative programme, we have still been able to connect with travel professionals around the world and help them understand why Abu Dhabi is such an extraordinary destination. As we open up to travellers from across the world once again, we are confident the programme has increased awareness on Abu Dhabi’s amazing offerings, which in turn will lead to increased sales activity and lengths of stay for visitors,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of marketing and tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi.

The training programme is part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s Travel Trade Marketing Plan to ensure that travel specialists are equipped with the right knowledge and tools to sell. Besides the training aspects, the specialists receive regular communications on the destination, invitations to events and access to marketing toolkits. By completing the programme, agents gain the knowledge and tools needed to aid selling efforts and increase professionalism, which lead to better revenue opportunities — especially after understanding the varied product offerings of Abu Dhabi.

Last year, the programme was rolled out in seven languages in 17 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, India, Saudi Arabia and Australia.