Last May major Abu Dhabi activation in Times Square New York, mounted by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority to mark the official launch of its US office, is beginning to bring business dividends.
The promotion saw the authority mount, over four days, an Abu Dhabi tent in the famous pedestrian thoroughfare - one of the world’s busiest - giving over 6,000 visitors, including more than 120 media, trade and stakeholder guests, a taste of the emirate through a number of heritage-influenced activities.
"Immediate results included brand exposure to two million people that walked through Times Square generating over 4.5 million impressions, according to the Times Square Alliance," explained Mubarak Al Nuaimi, International Promotions Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi.
"We certainly created a buzz with our launch - with news of it being picked up by over 350 news outlets in the States delivering media impressions topping 538 million worth some $2.3 million in advertising terms."
TCA Abu Dhabi supported the Times Square activation with a month-long promotion which saw its destination brand being carried atop 400 of New York City’s distinctive yellow cabs generating approximately 11,000 impressions per taxi each day, amounting to nearly 4.5 million daily impressions per day and 123 million over the campaign’s duration. A TV advertisement which ran on screens inside the taxis generated 1.5 million impressions.
In conjunction with the taxi top promotion, TCA Abu Dhabi ran a television promotional ad inside 1,200 taxis generating 1.5 million impressions while a digital campaign directed users to a specially-designed destination micro-site.
Five major US tour operators had developed 3-4 & 5 night Abu Dhabi packages for the campaign and created dedicated destination micro-site pages with different Abu Dhabi product and price points.
"Two of these operators - Abercrombie & Kent & Ritz Tours have reported receiving approximately 15 FIT and group enquiries from travel agents on the new Abu Dhabi packages in particular for pre/post cruise clients and special interest groups," explained Al Nuaimi.
"Our New York office has also received a number of requests from high-end leisure travel agencies in New York & Florida, including Courtyard Travel, Journey Corp and ProTravel International which have all requested destination training for their sales staff . A number of other travel agencies have requested quantities of sales brochures and DVDs to promote Abu Dhabi to their clients.
"Four operators - Group IST, African Journeys, AESU and Tauck World Discovery - that previously had no Abu Dhabi offering have also contacted us to develop new product for their fall and 2013 brochures.
"We’ve also received much positive feedback from trade partners. For instance the President of the US Tour Operators Association has requested that we recreate our tent at its annual connference and media outlets and journalists have been calling asking for more information on Abu Dhabi. Overall the promotion met our initial targets - our job now is to keep this momentum going as Etihad Airways, our national airline, heads towards the launch of its planned Washington DC service next Spring."