Dubai: Of the 15.79 million tourists who visited Dubai in 2017, a staggering 2.1 million were from India. According to the just-released data by Dubais Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), India has become the first country to cross the 2 million mark in a single year.
Indian visitors represented a 15 per cent year-on-year increase and validated, among other factors, the success of Dubai Tourism's ongoing collaboration with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan in the award-winning #BeMyGuest campaign.
Commenting on the annual performance, Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said that Dubai has continued to capture share of the global outbound travel market, complemented by a significant increase in tourism-driven economic contribution to the country's GDP.
"Our strong 6.2 per cent growth in 2017 has allowed us to ramp up the pace towards meeting our 2020 targets, and today Dubai's travel and tourism sector is not only well positioned to offer a superlative destination experience across its eight core strategic propositions, but also geared to accelerate its appeal to the diverse and evolving needs of our global travellers," Almarri said in a statement.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) followed India to end the year in second place, contributing a total of 1.53 million tourists last year. Third-placed UK, meanwhile, delivered 1.27 million travellers, rising 2 per cent over 2016, underscoring Dubai's enduring popularity among British travellers despite lingering uncertainty surrounding Brexit that has impacted overall outbound travel growth from this market.
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"As we work to establish Dubai as the most recommended city in the world, our focus is firmly on driving advocacy as a key component of our strategy towards sustained tourism growth. Assisted by comprehensive systems for monitoring and gauging traveller sentiment with regard to every aspect of the Dubai experience, our priority is to continuously build on our performance, making the necessary adjustments and improvements across all areas to guarantee the satisfaction of our visitors and ensure they become positive and active ambassadors of our city," added Almarri. (IANS)