Rome Cavalieri has reported a 22% increase in tourists from the Middle East between 2014 and 2015, with the majority of travellers coming from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Figures from the Italian Tourism Board say trips to the city of Rome by Middle East tourists rose more than 26% in the same year, despite the impact of the global financial crisis.
“Europe has always been a popular destination for Middle East travellers and Rome is creeping into the top 10. GCC residents are attracted to the region for luxury shopping and the ability to accommodate Islamic customs”, said general manager, Alessandro Maurizio Cabella of Rome Cavalieri.
“At Rome Cavalieri we recognise each cultures requirements and needs and the hotel is well deserving of its Islamic friendly reputation. We’ve adopted new customs to make guests feel at home including certain Arabic speaking staff members, female housekeeping and Arabic TV channels.”
As shisha is such an important symbol of hospitality and an inherent part of Arabic culture, the hotel has a dedicated shisha menu, together with Arabian tea and coffee, plus female only therapists within the Grand Spa.
In November 2015, Emirates Airline announced a daily service to Bologna, its fourth Italian destination, boosting its weekly flights to the country to 56. Over a third of these are direct to Rome and this new Bologna route provides a stop-off point for travellers looking to explore the Italian capital.
The Italian Tourism Board is expecting Middle Eastern travellers to the region to increase by another 20% by the end of 2016, making it one of the most visited countries in the world by international tourists within a five year period.