Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first six months, January-June of 2019, posting a positive 3 per cent in tourism volume growth compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. India once again led the pack, drawing the highest half year volumes with 997,000 visitors – particularly noteworthy given the severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges due to geopolitical volatilities.
Dubai continued to drive booking interest from Indians on a mass scale largely due to high-impact delivery of segment and season-specific campaigns across the most accessible Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. From focused ‘family’ or ‘couple’ oriented promotions to the Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan-led global #BeMyGuest campaign, the Department’s investments yielded strong returns, with the latter alone surpassing all records, logging 160 million views in a few weeks. Additionally, at an audience penetration level, travel share of Indian families with children rose by a substantial 10 percentage points from 24 to 34 per cent, directly reflecting higher GDP impact due to party size and spend potential.
With more than 30 in-market trade partnerships initiated in the first half of 2019 alone, Dubai Tourism’s confidence in, and commitment to, India is further emphasised by strategic annual collaborations launched with the biggest names in the travel ecosystem – such as Thomas Cook, Cox & Kings and SOTC, as well as OTAs like MakeMyTrip and Goibibo.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, commented, “Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Dubai’s diversified economic growth, and we measure success based on our ability to aggressively advance towards our goal to be the number one most visited and most preferred city as envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The consequent rise in value creation opportunities, and more inclusive sector participation are core priorities, as we equally strive to sustainably grow GDP contribution.”