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Indian tourism to GCC to grow 81% in 6 yrs

Indian tourism to GCC to grow 81% in 6 yrs
The UAE welcomed 2.89 million Indian tourists last year

Mubasher: Indian tourists travelling to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are forecasted to increase by 81% from 5.4 million in 2018 to 9.8 million in 2024.

The number of Indian visitors is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%, as shown by data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020.

Colliers International predicts more than 20% of India’s total outbound market will travel to the GCC by 2024, with business and leisure supporting this demand.

“This influx of Indian visitors to the GCC shows no sign of abating, with every reason to believe India will maintain its position as a top source market as the region prepares to welcome an estimated increase of 81% by 2024, providing a significant boost to the region’s tourism industry as we look ahead,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.

“ATM is witnessing this growth firsthand, in 2019, 10% of the total buyers at the show were from India. In terms of potential, we are only scratching the surface as the Indian middle class represents just 3% or 40 million of the total Indian population and average real wages set to quadruple between 2013 and 2030,” she added.

In 2018, the UAE welcomed 2.89 million Indian tourists with this figure expected to reach 5.29 million by 2024, increasing at a CAGR of 11%.

Moreover, India retained its top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with almost one million Indian tourists arriving in the emirate during the first half (H1) of 2019.

Despite the UAE leading comparative growth, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait are all expected to witness an increase of 10% respectively between 2018 and 2024.

Last year, Indian tourists accounted for approximately 26.1 million of total outbound trips made, with reports from the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimating this figure will increase by 92% to reach more than 50 million by 2022.

Indian tourists are among the world’s highest spenders while travelling abroad, with outbound travel and tourism expenditure to increase from $21.4 billion in 2018 to $39.3 billion by 2024.

“Driving this growth is a new generation of leisure attractions in the GCC, relaxed visa regulations for Indian nationals, additional airline routes, increasing business opportunities, a renewed focus on Indian weddings and the MICE segment as well as the increasing popularity of adventure and eco-tourism in countries including the UAE and Oman,” noted Curtis.

The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020 will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 19-22 April 2020.

Recent data showed that Russian tourists flying to the GCC member countries are expected to record higher travel and tourism revenues of $1.22 billion by 2023, increasing by 19% compared with last year.