Emirates airline has partnered with Costa Cruises to capitalise on the surge in regional tourism that is expected to be a direct result of the new Dubai Cruise Terminal, which opens on January 18.
Costa Deliziosa, along with sister ships Costa Luminosa and Costa Europa, will dock 32 times in Dubai during this winter season and Emirates airline will play a role in connecting holidaymakers with their cruise liners.
The airline will fly to 25 European destinations in 2010 after announcing the addition of Madrid, Prague and Amsterdam to its network. Costa Cruises, one of Italy's largest tourism groups, expects this season to bring 140,000 visitors to Dubai – with many flying in with Emirates from France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Antonio de Rosa, Costa Cruises VP Cruise Operations, said: "We were the first major operator to believe in the UAE as a cruise destination and are proud of the economic benefits we are bringing to the region. We predict the number of guests cruising to Dubai with us will increase by 40 per cent, with an estimated boost of Dh74 million for the city in the winter of 2009/10."
Richard Vaughan, DSVP Commercial Operations Worldwide for Emirates, said: "With an extensive flight schedule to cities throughout Europe, we can unite Costa cruise ships with passengers travelling from their key market, as well as give them the opportunity to attract guests from many of the other countries in our network of more than 100 destinations."
Vaughan said: "Cruise tourism has been identified as a key growth segment and we are very excited at the long-term benefits that this partnership can bring to both Emirates and Costa Cruises, not to mention the tremendous boost this gives to the tourism industry in the region. Emirates is dedicated to the development of Dubai as an international tourism hub."
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