12 Nov 2015 16:00
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is playing host to more than 200 leading travel industry representatives from Switzerland. The travel trade delegation gathered in Abu Dhabi for the annual SRV (Schweizer Reise-Verband) Swiss Travel Association General Assembly, being held at the Park Hyatt hotel on Saadiyat Island from 11-15 November 2015.
The event, co-hosted by
Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), is
organised by Hala Abu Dhabi, the region’s leading conference organiser and destination management company.
attendees include the owners and management of Switzerland’s leading travel
agencies and tour operators, executives from the travel industry, along with
representatives from Etihad Airways’ equity partners airberlin and Etihad
Regional. This is the first time that the association’s
Annual General Assembly is being held outside of Europe, with Abu Dhabi chosen
for its immense touristic appeal and superior business and leisure infrastructure.
The main objective of
this year’s conference is to showcase Abu Dhabi’s world-class resort hotels and
leisure facilities. The trip also gives participants first-hand experience of Etihad
Airways’ ground-breaking Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, operating the Zurich-Abu
Dhabi route, offering delegates the opportunity to fly in the airline’s
award-winning First Suites, spacious Business Studios and the unique Economy
Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome
the leaders and key decision-makers of the Swiss travel industry here in Abu
Dhabi, who have been an integral part of our remarkable 11-year journey.
“Switzerland has been
a significant travel market for Etihad Airways, since its inception in 2004,
alongside being an important trading partner with the UAE. Our presence in the Swiss
market contributes to a resilient aviation sector, bringing the benefits of
competition and convenience to travellers.
“Our investments in
Switzerland are testament to our commitment to the market, from sponsoring the
2015 Zurich Film Festival, to the launch of the unique Etihad Airways Mobile
Exhibition Vehicle, to the deployment of our state-of-the-art B787 Dreamliner
aircraft, offering revolutionary
new cabin products and inflight service elements.
“Abu Dhabi has become
a hub of aviation, culture, commerce and tourism, and is renowned the
world-over for its year-round sun, a world-class tourism and conference infrastructure,
and incredible leisure activities. We are excited to show the world what this
vibrant city has to offer.”
Sultan Al Dhaheri,
Acting Executive Director Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “We are constantly
looking to showcase the delights of Abu Dhabi to different and eclectic markets
across the globe, and by hosting the Swiss Travel Association Conference here,
in the capital of the UAE, it gives us the perfect opportunity to reach a new
audience, and show the rich diversity of the experiences we have to offer here.
“By welcoming the SRV
to our shores we hope to encourage more travellers from Switzerland to
experience our hospitality, cultural and historic heritage, as well as explore
our luxurious properties and excellent retail opportunities. We are confident this
will resonate powerfully with our Swiss guests, leaving them with a
long-lasting positive impression.”
Founded in 1928, the
Swiss Travel Association is the representative association of travel agencies
and tour operations in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The SRV provides a
variety of services for the benefit of its more than 800 active and around 140
The visiting delegation
was welcomed at a dinner hosted by Etihad Airways at the Palm Gardens of the
iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel on Yas Island. The
five-day visit includes a tour of the important cultural and touristic
landmarks of Abu Dhabi, and a farewell gala dinner at the lavish Ritz Carlton
Max E. Katz,
President of the SRV, said: “The Swiss Travel Association is very excited to
have its Annual General Assembly
in Abu Dhabi. With daily Etihad Airways flights from both Geneva and Zurich,
and luxurious accommodation offerings, Abu Dhabi has become a new favourite
destination for Swiss travellers.”
In 2014 and 2015,
year to date, Etihad Airways has welcomed more than 340,000 guests on its flights
between Switzerland and Abu Dhabi, of which more than 190,000 travelled on the
Geneva route and over 150,000 on the Zurich services.
Etihad Airways flies daily from Zurich and Geneva,
connecting through its hub in Abu Dhabi to popular leisure and business
destinations in the Gulf region, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, North and
South East Asia, and Australia. The services also provide seamless onward
connections to numerous points across Europe on the networks of airberlin,
Alitalia, Air Serbia, Etihad Regional and Niki.