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Dubai witnesses 15.8% growth in Indian arrivals in H1

As part of its 2013 marketing strategy to achieve Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, the Department recently organised a roadshow in  New Delhi followed by Mumbai and Chennai. India continues to be Dubai’s number 2 source market and has received 4,60,000 Indian visitors in the first half of 2013, witnessing a growth of 15.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.

A 22-member delegation participated in the three-city roadshow that included hoteliers, DMCs and attractions. Emirates, Atlantis, The Palm and Lama Tours, were the co-sponsors of the roadshow, that targeted over 1,000 Indian trade professionals covering major tour operators, wedding planners and high-end leisure operators. The delegation was led by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing's (DTCM) officials, Mansoor Bawazir - Head of Region (India, Middle East & Southern/Eastern Africa) and Carl Vaz - Director, India Representative Office.

The Dubai delegation included Royal Arabian Tours, Bonton Tours and Travels, Discovery Travel and Tourism, Alpha Tours, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Sea View Hotel/ Royal Ascot Hotel, Al Rais Tours and Travels, Royal Gulf Tourism LLC, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, North Tours, Big Bus Tours, Bin Ali Tourism, ITL Tourism & Travel LLC, Admiral Plaza Hotel, Khalidia Hotel Apartments, The Oberoi, Dubai and Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Downtown.

Talking about the importance of India as a source market, Bawazir stated, “Dubai welcomed more than 5.5 million visitor arrivals in the first half of 2013, recording an 11.1 per cent year-on-year increase. We are here to endorse and showcase our products in the Indian market and further increase Indian arrivals. India is huge market with great potential and will be one of the important source markets to achieve our target of 20 million visitors by 2020.”

Vaz believes that the growth from the Indian market is a result of DTCM’s focus on Tier-II and III cities. “We are looking at penetrating deeper into Tier-II cities like Pune, Indore, Nagpur, Chandigarh and Jaipur and Tier-III cities such as Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Raipur and Bhubaneshwar. Currently, we have 2,000 certified experts from metros, Tier-I and II cities of India under the Dubai Expert Training Programme and we are now looking at adding 1,000 agents from Tier-III cities as Dubai specialists,” he said adding that the main market segments that DTCM is looking at tapping in India this year are the group series departures and the family segment along with the niche segments of weddings / honeymoon, school groups, adventure / sport and luxury seekers and single women travellers who will be heading for the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2014.

Speaking about the way forward Vaz opined, “We aim to achieve year-on-year double digit growth from the Indian market. We are looking at developing niche segments and will work closely with tour operators dealing with single women travellers, ‘silvers’ (senior citizens) and women shopping groups

One of the co-sponsors of  the event Lama Tours is also very bullish on the Indian market and has recently introduced Lama Express Visa service two months ago in Delhi and till date have processed 1,600 visa. Kulwant Singh, Managing Director, Lama Tours, informed, “We are planning to introduce the same service in Mumbai by November and in Bengaluru by December this year.”

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