Indian tourists to GCC to surge 81% by 2024: Arabian Travel Mart report

The number of Indian tourists travelling to the GCC is expected to increase 81% from 5.4 million in 2018 to 9.8 million in 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%, according to the latest data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020.

As destinations throughout the Middle East prepare to showcase their latest offerings at ATM 2020, which will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 19-22, 2020, Colliers International predicts that more than 20% of India’s total outbound market will travel to the GCC by 2024 – with business, place of work and leisure underpinning this demand.

Curtis: Indian tourist arrivals to GCC will continue its upward trajectory

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director Middle East, ATM, said: “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.

“This projected growth is being supported by a number of key stakeholders in the region, from immigration initiatives and mega events, to hotels, F&B venues, resorts, theme parks and malls – all of which appeal to Indian travellers.”

In 2018, the UAE welcomed 2.9 million Indian tourists, with this figure expected to reach 5.3 million by 2024, increasing at a CAGR of 11%, according to ATM’s official research partner, Colliers International.

Adding to this, 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 in 1H2019.

“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 ecotourism in countries including the UAE and Oman,” said Curtis.

Last year, Indian tourists accounted for approximately 26.1 million of total outbound trips made, with reports from the 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 US$21.4 billion in 2018 to US$39.3 billion by 2024.

On average, Indian travellers spent approximately US$1,100 per trip made to the GCC in 2018, according to the latest data from Euromonitor International, with business and experience-seeking tourists likely to spend at least 15% more per trip.

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