Dubai stands to gain from international tourists looking to stay for longer periods, according to Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
“One of the things that we’ve noticed is that people are taking fewer trips, but making sure that they’re more meaningful and for longer periods of time as well,” said Kazim, during the Travel and Connectivity Business Forum at Expo 2020.
Kazim said tourists had also been showing a strong preference for destinations that cater to different needs and budgets.
“People want a destination that offers a lot more to satisfy their needs for that trip and especially if you’re traveling in a group, you want to make sure that there is something that satisfies everyone’s needs individually,” said Kazim. “Dubai positions itself really well when it comes to the offerings within the hotel industry.”
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Needless to say, health measures continue to be a top priority for tourists coming to visit. “People are focusing a lot on the health and safety measures that any city or destination has put in place, and that gives them the confidence to be able to travel, whether it’s for business or even family spending,” said Kazim.
Dubai welcomed 4.88 million visitors between January and October last year, with international visits in October alone crossing the one million mark.
Consequently, room nights sold between the January-October period hit 9.4 million, compared to 7 million in the same period in 2019.
An estimated two million passengers were expected to pass through DXB between December 29, 2021 and January 8, 2022 with average daily traffic exceeding 178,000 travellers. The airport’s Terminal 3 alone was expected to serve more than 1.6 million passengers in the second-half of December.
Relying on private sector
Kazim credits the success of Dubai’s various tourism campaigns to its private sector, which includes hotel operators, travel companies, and bookings websites among others.
“Dubai has been as successful as it has been over the years (due to) the relationship that we’ve been able to establish between the private and public sector,” said Kazim. “We listen to the private sector quite intently, even during the lockdown period - we have regular sessions with the different stakeholders and we are in constant dialogue with them.”
The tourism chief added that during the pandemic period, the private sector invested in the city and showed confidence in Dubai’s ability to overcome the challenges. “They want to know what’s going on and it’s very important for us to engage with them on that level.”