Italy finds favour with UAE tourists

Cities like Venice are drawing UAE tourists.

Tourists from the UAE are flocking to the historical shores of Italy. Italy attracted around 3,000 UAE tourists in 2002, Dr Enrico Martini from the Italian State Tourist Board, said.

He added that UAE tourists visiting Italy had increased in 2002 by 9.7 per cent compared to the year 2001. “They made around 5,500 hotel overnights during 2002. This figure is expected to increase during the next year as the tourism is recovering from the aftermath of September 11, SARS, and the war in Iraq,” he pointed out.
Italy is welcoming tourists from the Gulf region, including the UAE, and is offering a wide-range of tourism services to attract an increasing number of tourists from the Middle East. Most of the UAE nationals who visit Italy are businessmen. They come for buying textile and furniture among other goods, from the Italian market,” Dr Martini added, according to the report.
He spoke about the dangers facing tourism all over the world, saying that the security measures being taken at the airports are tight and reduce the risks to the minimum. Such measures are meant to track down any imminent terrorist danger and have proved successful in curbing many terrorist attempts, he said.
There are many competing countries in the European tourism market, Dr Martini said. According to the report, he said that Spain, the United Kingdom and France have a big share in this market. He explained that the Italian State Tourist Board is the official government organisation responsible for the promotion and development of tourism overseas.
“Italy offers enormous variety in its natural scenery and historical backgrounds. Because a good part of Italy grew up as a collection of independent city-states, customs and food vary greatly from region to region.
Most of the year the beaches are sunny, with 5,310 miles of shoreline bordering Italy and its islands, Dr Martini noted. “You can usually find waters where the temperature is right for swimming. And history is always in season,” he observed.