When I attended my first Abta Convention in Lisbon in 2001, it was the undisputed must-attend conference in the travel calendar.
Wind the clock forward 15 years, as we gather for the first Travel Convention to be held in the heart of the Middle East, and the sheer number of delegates in attendance demonstrates the ongoing relevance of the event.
As you read this, many of you will no doubt be needing a little stimulation, after the traditional packed opening day of physical activity and social celebrations.
But with some compelling content coming up both on the main stage and in the break-out sessions, it shouldn’t be hard to keep yourself going.
For the Travel Weekly team, it is fantastic to once again be here as the official trade media partner of the Travel Convention, and it has been great to work with Abta in the run-up to the event to interview some of the keynote speakers you’ll be hearing from over the next two days.
If you’ve missed any of our convention previews, you can read about what’s in store in the special Travel Convention edition of Travel Weekly. You can also read exclusive news and updates from some of the suppliers who have scheduled this week to unveil new research and products.
We’ve got some expert advice about how to see the best of this fascinating and ever-evolving host city – and you can even win the chance to return at your leisure, courtesy of Kuoni.
I am very grateful to the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Etihad Airways and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts for supporting this special edition, and for hosting us this week.
Along with the rest of the Travel Weekly team in Abu Dhabi, I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible over the next few days.