Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has launched a stimulus package for its tourism industry to attract and maintain its visitor numbers over the summer, according to a report.
Two children under 16 with every family travelling to Dubai on Emirates Airline in the summer can claim free flights, free meals, hotel stays and entrances to attractions, the The National daily reported.
Last year, the DTCM had launched the ‘kids go free’ promotion, in which one child aged below 16 could fly free when accompanied by two paying adults on an Emirates flight to Dubai. The offer ran from May 15 to Sept. 20, 2009, also included a maximum of two children receiving complementary accommodation, meals and entertainment during their stay.
However, according to The National, this campaign will run much longer this year, starting on May 14 to coincide with the Dubai Summer Surprises shopping festival and lasting five months.
The number of tourists to Dubai fell 5.7 percent in the third quarter of 2009, compared to the same period the previous year, the figures showed in January.
Data from Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), cited by The National, revealed the global recession was the reason for the decline.
“In terms of the drop-off in visitor numbers to Dubai they’re actually quite healthy if you look at the rest of the world. It’s not necessarily a reflection on Dubai as a destination,” Sean Tipton, a senior spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), told the paper.
“The Kids Go Free programme is not simply just a cut-price promotion. It underlines our strategy of further establishing Dubai as a year-round destination and appealing to all target groups,” The National cited Saleh Al Geziry, the director of overseas promotions and inward missions at the DTCM, as saying.
Mr al Geziry said the department was working hard on promotional and marketing initiatives in what is an economically challenging time in many parts of the world.
Dubai International Airport was the 15th busiest in the world last year for passenger numbers while it ranked fifth for cargo traffic, a new report by the Airports Council International has showed.
A total of 40.9m passengers used Dubai's airport in 2009, a growth of 9.2 percent on the previous year.
The figures showed that Dubai was one of only four of the world 20 busiest airports to add new growth in 2009, alongside Beijing (ranked third), Bangkok (16th) and San Francisco (20th).