Colliers International research reveals the future of travel and tourism in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) destinations that consists of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq, namely: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the research, arrivals from the UK to the GCC will increase 22% over the period 2018 to 2024; as many as 2.8 million, driven by new and direct flight routes, competitive airfares and a growing number of leisure travelers.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Historically, the UK and the GCC have enjoyed excellent travel and tourism links and this trend is set to continue over the next four years despite the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the bleak pound to dollar exchange rate, in which sterling has declined 18.9% since 19th June 2015.
“However, the UAE is expected to continue to be the preferred GCC destination for British tourists, welcoming a projected 2.23 million visitors by 2023. Saudi Arabia will follow with 251,000 visitors, while Oman will welcome 165,000, Bahrain 159,000 and Kuwait 5,000.”
UK tourists traveling to the GCC are expected to generate an estimated US$6.3 billion in travel and tourism revenue by 2024, an increase of 34% when compared with figures from 2018, according to the research data.
Building on this, total tourism spend in the GCC, reached US$70.2 billion last year, with the UK travelers' average spend during trips to the region, 27% higher than the average spend of any other visitor.
In 2018 Bahrain witnessed the highest average spend per visit at US$3,298. Saudi Arabia followed with an average UK tourist spend per trip reaching US$2,047, very closely followed by the UAE at US$2,020 and Kuwait and Oman reaching $US1,077 and US$945 respectively.
ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.
Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020 takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from Sunday 19 – Wednesday 22 April 2020.