By Sam Bridge
India remains Dubai's largest source market in 2019, according to latest data released by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Dubai’s tourism industry welcomed an all-time high 16.73 million international overnight visitors in 2019, a 5.1 percent increase compared to the previous year, it was announced on Tuesday.
Latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) revealed a 11.5 percent contribution to the emirate's GDP, capturing direct international tourism spending worth $27.9 billion.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: “The strong performances across our diversified spectrum of traditional strongholds and fast-growing high value segments have continued to solidify the global competitiveness and sustained resilience of Dubai’s tourism sector.
"While the global economy remains in a state of flux, we can clearly see an exciting opportunity to further grow Dubai’s dominance in the tourism industry in 2020, and to pioneer the next decade for global travel, offering unique and transformative tourism experiences created and driven by our strong appetite for radical innovation and stakeholder collaboration.”
Dubai’s top six source markets in 2019 were India, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Oman, China and Russia, delivering over seven million visitors as nine of the top 10 countries crossed half a million visitors each for the first time.
Results revealed India once again retained its top status with nearly two million visitors despite a spate of outbound tourism challenges including airline industry degradation and geopolitical volatility.
Saudi Arabia consolidated its position as the GCC’s highest traffic generator with 1.6 million Saudis visiting Dubai while the UK remained Dubai’s third largest source market, with 1.2 million travellers.
Almarri added: "In 2020, we will continue to accelerate the tourism momentum by showcasing Dubai’s event hosting capabilities in the run up to Expo 2020, roll out brand new campaigns and high-profile entertainment programming, develop richer content partnerships, in addition to widening existing marketing outreach activities and expanding our portfolio of destination offerings.”
Poised to break the one million barrier in 2020, fifth-placed China registered 989,000 visitors to Dubai in 2019 at 15.5 percent year-on-year growth.
Performance results at a regional level showcased Dubai’s continued attractiveness to Western Europe amid a recessionary economy and a strong US dollar limiting Dubai’s price competitiveness, as it emerged top of the contributor list with a 20 percent share and 3.4 million tourists.