Tourism to Dubai continues to boom with the emirate hitting 13.2 million international overnight visitors in 2014.
According to new statistics issued at Arabian Travel Market this week in Dubai, by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, aka Dubai Tourism, this represents a year-on-year increase of 8.2 per cent, which is reported to be significantly higher than the global average of 4.7 per cent.
Dubai Tourism says that the growth reflects Dubai’s determination to realise Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, with a target of 20 million visitors by the start of the next decade.
The inaugural ‘Dubai Annual Visitor Report’, was released at this week’s Arabian Travel Market, with the report rather than only providing statistics on guests staying at Dubai’s hotel establishments as in the past, included all international visitors travelling to Dubai and staying for at least one night, in hotel accommodation and holiday rentals, with friends and relatives and also on board cruise ships.
The Dubai Annual Visitor Report is also said to be a collation of key tourism metrics, trends and insights drawn from Dubai Tourism’s comprehensive research, which involves monitoring performance across global demand and competitive intensity, the effectiveness and supply of Dubai’s proposition, and the emirate’s ability to deliver a rounded destination experience to leisure and business travellers.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of DTCM, said, “The Dubai Annual Visitor Report provides insights into how and why Dubai achieved significant visitor growth in 2014, continuing the upward trend of recent years.”
“With the year-on-year increase of 8.2 per cent being significantly higher than the global average, the report demonstrates Dubai’s broadening appeal as a tourism destination among multiple geographies and audience segments, highlighting both the success achieved to date and the opportunity for continual growth.”
“The 2014 success is especially promising considering pressures on a number of source market economies and the 80-day partial closure of Dubai International Airport (DXB), with the results a tribute to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the continued resolute partnership between the government and the private sector.”
“The new report encompasses all international overnight visitors, painting a broader picture of the successes, challenges and opportunities of the Emirate’s tourism economy.”
“The research behind the report enables us to further enhance our targeted marketing activity, which in the past year has included the development of extensive digital, social media and PR partnerships with some of the most influential channels in the industry.”
Emirate’s top ten source markets grew around 8 per cent.
Double-digit growth from a number of emerging travel source countries home to fast-growing middle-class populations with high disposable incomes, including China, Nigeria and Brazil, in addition to several Eastern European nations – a result of the easing of UAE visa policies applying to 13 EU member states in March 2014.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of DTCM, said, “Dubai has strategically sought to ensure a fragmented source market approach, mitigating risks associated with over reliance on any specific region or geography.”
“55 per cent of last year’s visitors came from our top ten source markets, the majority of which saw sustained growth, and there was healthy acceleration in many emerging feeder geographies.”
“We will continue to work with our partners to further diversify our markets and leverage opportunities for growth, with one example being maximising the potential of Eastern European markets, from which we have already seen a positive result from the easing of visa regulations in March last year and the subsequent flight launches to the region by Emirates and flydubai towards the end of 2014.”
Written : John Alwyn-Jones