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Thu 1 Feb 2007 12:00 AM

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Emirates takes romantic slant for Venice

Travellers looking for a romantic holiday will be the target market for Emirates Holidays when it expands its Venice programme this summer.

Travellers looking for a romantic holiday will be the target market for Emirates Holidays when it expands its Venice programme this summer.

The Dubai tour operator has signed five new four- and five-star hotels in the Italian city, including Hotel Cipriani, Hotel Danieli and Hotel Bauer & Bauer Il Palazzo, taking its total to eight when Emirates Airline launches its non-stop Dubai-Venice service on July 1.

“We will definitely sell Venice as a place for honeymooners. That’s why we have focused on good quality, boutique hotels, that are stylish, traditional and romantic,” said Marco Heinrich, destination development manager, Europe & North America.

“We will also introduce Verona for the first time as an experiment, and will offer three hotels there. It will tie-in nicely with Venice.”

He said Italy was a unique European destination in that customers did not only visit the capital city, but multiple locations across the country.

“By introducing flights to Venice our customers now have even more options. They can fly into Venice and out of Rome, or into Milan and out of Venice,” Heinrich added.

Italy proved the third most popular European destination last summer after Germany and the UK, and sales to the destination increased between 25 and 30% for the period April 1, 2006 to January 1, 2007, compared to the same period the year before.

Train travel around the country had proven popular, Heinrich said, and Italy was also considered a must-visit for GCC nat-ionals fond of shopping.

Emirates new Dubai-Venice route, operated by an A330-200, will run five times weekly from July 1 and daily from September 1. The service will complement Emirates’ daily services to Rome and Milan.

Keith Longstaff, senior VP, commercial operations, Europe, for Emirates, told ATN Milan and Rome were “two of Emirates’ most popular services”, and concurred that honeymooners were one component driving leisure sales to the country.

“And with the Venice service, it’s not just Italy that is the point of sale. We get traffic travelling on to places [eastward] such as Macedonia and Croatia,” he explained.

Prices start from AED 4625 (US $1259) per person for a three-night package to Venice including return economy flights and B&B at the four-star Westin Europa & Regina.

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