Cruise market warms up for winter


Cruise tourism in the Gulf is regaining its lost ground this winter after a slump in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the US, industry sources say.

Many cruise ships had cancelled their voyages to Dubai last winter after the attacks, mirroring a global slump in the industry.

But signs of turnaround emerged at the end of last cruise season when a few liners called at Dubai, thanks to the efforts of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

Industry sources are optimistic that the the next cruise season, which usually runs from October till April, promises to be a good one, local media reported.

The report said agents had many confirmed calls by major liners.

The industry will also get added impetus when Dubai will host the biannual Seatrade Maritime and Cruise Conference early next year and takes part in Europe's leading tourism and cruise exhibition in Genoa, Italy.