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Dubai's tourism goes digital

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-08 07:57
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The wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Dubai has increased its e-footprint in the tourism sector to pamper tech-savvy travelers, experts said at the recent Arabian Travel Market Fair in Dubai.

"One of the biggest trends in e-tourism this year is the enhancement of mobile apps, particularly in the hospitality industry," says Cody Morris Paris, associate professor of social science at Middlesex University Dubai.

For example, Dubai's tourism authority and Hong Kong-based hotel smartphone service company Tink Labs signed an agreement on April 25.

"Hotels in Dubai will offer our Handy Travel smartphones in their rooms with all the necessary apps installed to discover Dubai," says Salha Soussi, Tink Labs' senior sales manager of the Gulf Region.

"The smartphone is provided free of charge in the room and has to be given back by the hotel guest once he checks out."

Paris says: "The clearly defined, well-executed and innovative destination-marketing campaigns emerging from Dubai tourism are very effective."

Dubai attracted nearly 15 million overnight visitors last year, a 5 percent increase over 2015, the city's tourism authority reports.

Dubai hopes to attract at least 20 million visitors by 2020, when it'll host the World Expo.

It has been running the MyDubai campaign to encourage social media users to post images of the city in recent years.

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