Dubai eyes Latin America market for tourism

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Dubai’s tourism authority announced on Sunday it is planning to open an office in Latin America to cash in visitor influx from fast-growing economies such as Brazil and Argentina.

“We are looking into South America,” said Hamad bin Mejren, the executive director of business tourism at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

“That is a market we are concentrating on. I assure you we have plans to open an office in South America. When Emirates [Airline] flies to a destination, we work together,” he added.

Emirates launched direct flights to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Argentinian capital Buenos Aires at the beginning of this year.

According to figures released by DTCM, a record number of 9.3 million hotel guests arrived and stayed in Dubai last year, registering an increase of 10% compared to year before.

Hotel revenues hit AED16 billion (US$4.35bn) last year, an increase of 20 per cent over 2010.

Dubai is looking for emerging markets to boost its tourism industry as Europe suffers from worst recession in decades. The emirate’s tourism board reported  a decline in tourism from Britain last year, which used to be its biggest feeder market.

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