Dubai leads Middle East tourism revival
European tourism to the Middle East has shown an upward trend during the first months of 2002, confirming the revival of the region as a popular winter sun destination. Overall, World Tourism statistics for 2001 show that travel to the Middle East dropped 30 percent in the last quarter, but this decline has now tailed off as both commerce and tourism return to the region.
“Dubai, itself, is still in the top 10 long-haul destinations in 2002 for British tour operator Kuoni, who reported bookings for the emirate were up 37 percent in the first half of 2001, and still maintained positive growth by year-end, despite events in the US and Afghanistan,” said regional managing director of hotel operator Le Meridien, Sami Zoghbi.
“Results from a recent survey of attitudes towards travel were very encouraging for Middle East destinations, according to the Association of British Travel Agents, who say that both Egypt and Dubai are recovering the confidence of the traveling public in the United Kingdom (UK),” Zoghbi added.
Le Meridien is set to open four new hotels in the next year, starting with a resort in Luxor, Egypt in March and followed by the launch of Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah this October.
Le Méridien is a global hotel group with a portfolio of 145 luxury and upscale hotels in 55 countries worldwide. The majority of its properties are located throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. The company also has a strategic alliance with Nikko Hotels, giving guests access to an additional 42 properties around the world. Headquartered in London, Le Méridien was purchased by Nomura International Principal Finance Group in July 2001 and merged with Principal Hotels, acquired by Nomura in February 2001. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)