By Gemma Greenwood
Tour operator will set up specialist services in both countries where outbound tourism potential is significant.
Emirates Holidays has revealed plans to open travel trade support offices in India and China later this year.
In India, the tour operator will open Emirates branches in Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, all manned by trained staff.
The move follows the establishment last year of Emirates Holidays special services in Hong Kong, Moscow, Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.
Emirates Holidays posted a 22% increase in sales revenue for the 2006-07 financial year, crossing the AED 500 million milestone for the first time in its history.
More than 100,000 passengers booked their holiday with the tour operator and the business unit is poised for 35% growth in 2007-08, according to Hans Haensel, Emirates' divisional senior vice president Destination and Leisure Management.
"In the last decade, we have invested in training for the travel industry, notably during our three-day brochure launch event, and this has indisputably raised the standards of the industry locally. We have also set up a strong distribution and supplier network that makes our holidays popular and accessible to our consumers and provides us with important feedback on customer needs and holiday trends," he said.
Repeat custom, said Haensel, was around 45%, while the UAE was responsible for 41% of its holidaymakers.
The Middle East provided 28%, Africa 9%, Russia and Australasia 7% each, and Europe 8%, he added.
Haensel was speaking after Emirates Holidays launched its range of
A World of Choice 2007-08
brochures last week.
A World of Choice
brochures, which we launch annually in April, keep getting bigger and better every year. This year we are confident of tasting success with the new destinations on offer in our brochures - from Sao Paulo and Rio to Bangalore and Nagoya - all different, nevertheless offering magical travel experiences," he said.