DUBAI – The number of tourists to Dubai fell in the first nine months of last year as the global economic slowdown resulted in fewer travellers from Europe, the country’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has said.
Visitor numbers fell 5.7 per cent in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2008, figures from the DTCM published by the UN World Tourism Organisation said.
Tourism is an important part of Dubai’s economy, directly contributing 19 per cent to its GDP in 2008. The Emirate, which attracted 7.5 million hotel guests in that year, was aiming to double the number by 2015.
However, despite the significant falls in performance, Dubai continues to achieve some of the highest average room rates and revenue per available room in the region even as new supply continues to flood the market.