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Dubai Tourism sustains cruise promotions in India

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Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) is sustaining its efforts to promote Dubai cruises in the India market. DCTCM recently held a cruise tourism roadshow across key Indian markets including Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. Last year, the emirate welcomed over 600,000 cruise passengers from across the world, which marked an increase of 25 per cent from the previous season. Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, director – cruise tourism, Dubai Tourism, said, “India ranks first in terms of overall tourist footfall to Dubai, so we are trying provide Indian travellers more opportunities in Dubai, and cruise is one of them. Every year we try to trace the demand across India. Next year we will plan to include more cities, depending upon the demand and response.” The cruise department of Dubai Tourism aims to reach one million cruise tourists by 2020. Currently, seven cruise lines operate in Dubai which include Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean, TUI Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Thomson Cruises.

Kunal Sampat, general manager – India, MSC Cruises, said, “Our Dubai sailings are always the winter sailings – December to March. We see year-on-year growth of 18 per cent to 19 per cent in terms of the number of passengers. Since there are vast opportunities in Dubai and the passenger numbers have been increasing, we have deployed bigger ships in this region. There has been an emerging trend of longer itineraries. Along with passengers, travel agents have also evolved.”

DCTCM isn’t targetting a particular traveller segment in India and aims tap opportunities across multiple segments. Nalini Gupta, managing director, Lotus Destinations (GSA of Costa Cruises India), added, “Cruise companies can target a vast spectrum of traveller segments in Dubai. The authorities in Dubai have been constantly looking for opportunities to make cruising even more convenient each year, but what’s missing is the zest among Indian travel industry to sell cruises. The industry here needs to get equipped. The market is so large that no cruise company faces competition from another. Dubai Tourism has also sustained its marketing and promotional activities in the India market, so more and more people are getting educated about Dubai cruises.”