THE LEVANT NEWS -- Dubai: A slowdown in China’s economy is unlikely to lead to a drop in the number of Chinese visitors to Dubai, with the emirate’s tourism authority working to add more flights between the two destinations in 2016.
Hoor Al Khaja, manager of overseas promotions at the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), said by phone that the tourism authority continues to see appetite from Chinese visitors to the emirate and expects growth in the second half of this year, despite China’s economic slowdown.
Growth of the world’s second-largest economy weakened in the third quarter to 6.9 per cent, down from 7 per cent in the previous quarter. The growth rate was the slowest since 2009. China is targeting an annual economic growth of 6.5 per cent between 2016 and 2020.
Dubai attracted 241,000 Chinese visitors in the first half of this year, up 26 per cent year-on-year.
“We expect to see positive growth,” Al Khaja said, adding that Dubai Tourism has been “aggressive in the Chinese market over the last year.”
She, however, declined to give a forecast for Chinese tourist numbers for the second half of this year. She said that over the next 12 months, the department will target different Chinese cities for its roadshow and launch new promotions.
Dubai Tourism will create a campaign for the upcoming Chinese New Year in February, according to Al Khaja. “We have been working with the Chinese government in the last year and we were able to launch three new flights [from China] to Dubai, and we will be working on launching a few more in the next year,” she said.
China is Dubai’s seventh largest tourism source market, and grew the most last year, with 344,000 visitors, up 25 per cent compared to 2013.
Dubai Tourism has four offices in China — in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
SOURCE: GULF NEWS