Dubai Airports CEO says Chinese travelers’ surge boost aviation industry

KIGALI, Nov. 3– The chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, responsible for the operation and development of the Dubai International Airport that is one of the world’s busiest airports, said here that a significant increase in travelers from China will help boost the recovery of the aviation industry. We are looking to handle about 87 million passengers by…

KIGALI, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) — The chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, responsible for the operation and development of the Dubai International Airport that is one of the world’s busiest airports, said here that a significant increase in travelers from China will help boost the recovery of the aviation industry.

“We had a great first half of 2023 and exceeded our pre-pandemic numbers. We are looking to handle about 87 million passengers by the end of the year, which will be about 2 million short of the pre-pandemic number,” Paul Griffiths told Xinhua at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali from Wednesday to Friday.

The summit, themed “Building Bridges to a Sustainable Future” and co-hosted by the Rwanda Development Board, gathered thousands of industry leaders, experts and government representatives to promote the growth of the industry and its transition to a safer, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.

The growth in passenger numbers is primarily due to the increasing number of Chinese travelers visiting Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Griffiths said.

According to data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai welcomed 11.1 million overnight visitors between January and August. China ranks as the 7th largest source market for Dubai, with 392,000 tourists arriving in the first eight months of 2023.

When asked about new initiatives and incentives for visitors from China, Griffiths said “the good thing is that in Dubai, there are always projects in the pipeline. We are planning to cater to a broader range of interests that will appeal to Chinese travelers.”

Measures to attract more Chinese tourists include offering “a wider range of entertainment options, enhanced hospitality, increased beachfront capacity, and improvements to the airport infrastructure,” he said.

“We are planning to expand the existing airports, with the expectation of accommodating around 120 million passengers over the next decade, and we believe a substantial portion of that growth will originate from China,” Griffiths added. Enditem