HK hot favourite of UAE travellers

DUBAI — For UAE travellers, Hong Kong remains one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Far East.

By Criselda E. Diala

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Published: Wed 12 Jul 2006, 9:55 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:10 PM

Statistics from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) disclose a 25 per cent growth in tourist arrivals as compared to figures posted a year earlier.

James Evans, Cathay Pacific's country manager for UAE and Oman, Hong Kong's flag carrier, said that emphasis is being given on UAE becoming an "increasingly important" tourism market.

"Since 2005, we have seen double digit growth figures from the UAE and there is definitely a growing trend to travel to Hong Kong and via Hong Kong. The growth figures are very encouraging," Evans said.

The airline official added that although the UAE has a relatively small population, Dubai is considered a major travel hub in the Gulf region. "This is a significantly growing market and it will continue to be one. Cathay Pacific flies to Dubai 13 times a week, which highlights how important the emirate is to us. And with the projected growth in the market, it is exciting to look ahead at how the links between the UAE and Hong Kong will further develop," he mentioned.

Evans noted that a factor that could have influenced the uptrend was Cathay Pacific's eagerness in promoting Hong Kong to travellers in the UAE, through various programmes like the Hong Kong Family Fun Packages, Visit Hong Kong Now Packages, Superstop Packages and combinations with Stay-A-While Brochure.

"Cathay Pacific has been flying to the UAE for nearly 30 years and as the UAE has grown, Cathay Pacific in the UAE has grown, too. With more and more people travelling, we have been determined to attract travellers to Hong Kong. The double digit figures demonstrate that we have been quite successful in achieving this aim."

Sue Whitehead, HKTB's Regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, also said that with the announcement of their "Discover Hong Kong" campaign this year, they are keen on attracting more tourists to the island's unique culture and heritage. She noted that last year, they received 23 million visitors from all over the world. However, their global target this year is 27 million.

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