CSA bid to attract Mideast tourists

DUBAI - China Southern Air (CSA) Company Ltd. on Thursday announced a major promotional campaign of its Tourism Development division in a bid to attract tourists from the Middle East, particularly in the UAE.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Sat 26 Jun 2004, 10:59 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:05 PM

Dubbed "Dragon Beat", "Majestic Beauty" and "Marco Polo's Path", the three packages are the initial launch products of the "Oriental Glamour" tourism scheme offered by the company, according to Helen Yunna Liu, strategy director, CSA Tourism Development Company Ltd.

The strategic move follows the recent launch of the bi-weekly flights operated by China Southern Airlines between Beijing and Dubai.

"China Southern Airlines, which started its new Guangzhou-Beijing-Dubai service on June 17, is the only carrier in mainland China offering the service to the Middle East. The load factor during the inaugural flight from Beijing to Dubai was 70 per cent, while it was 50 per cent on the return flight. We definitely expect an increase in the load factor in our future flights," Guan Bing, General Manager, Gulf and Middle East, China Southern Airlines Company Ltd., told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a Press conference held at the Dubai InterContinental on Thursday.

He added: "We see a great potential in the UAE. The launching of flights as well as the tourism campaign by our partner company is an opportunity to promote trade and tourism between China and the UAE."

The UAE is one of China's most important trade partners. Guan Bing said that bilateral trade between China and Dubai stood at $2.8 billion in 2002 and $4.5 billion in 2003. It is forecasted to reach $8.1 billion at the end of 2004.

He said the number of Chinese businessmen travelling to the UAE is increasing due to the rise in trade exchanges between China, the Middle East and Africa. He added that traders and construction workers from Sudan, Algeria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are seen to greatly benefit from the new Beijing-Dubai service.

Khalifa Ali Buamaim, Manager, Overseas Promotions, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), for his part, said that the Guangzhou-Beijing-Dubai service will open new growth opportunities for the businesses in the three cities linked with the service. "China is an important market for us and our relations have been growing stronger. Dubai plays a crucial role for the Chinese companies to tap the region's expanding market. Two-way trade between China and Dubai has seen phenomenal growth in the recent years. Same is the case with the number of Chinese guests with Dubai hotel establishments."

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