Published on : Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Some of the major tourism hotspots in the GCC have started witnessing an upsurge in the Indian tourist arrivals as the region is getting ready to portray its offerings to the corporate and leisure travellers at the Arabian Travel Market this year.
The grand event would be hosted at the Dubai World Trade Centre, from 24th to 27th April, 2017.
In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, India was the top performing source market in the year 2016. In Dubai, as much as 1.8 million nationals had arrived last year as compared to 1.6 million in the year 2015 and also in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi had welcomed an overwhelming 4.5 million tourists total in 2016 out of which 323,388 were Indian, according to a press release.
The figures from Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority states that this represents a rise of nearly 15% on 2015.
About 3 million tourists had visited Oman in 2016 and out of this 299,568 were Indian tourists. Over the past five years, Oman has observed a 60% increase on the total number of tourist arrivals from India.
Earlier during this year, the Prime Minister of Qatar and Minister of Interior, named Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani met Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister to discuss about the topic of visas on arrival for the Indian nationals. Simon Press, the Senior Exhibition Director of Arabian Travel Market said that the number of tourists from India to the GCC has continued to be strong for quite some time on account of the excellent trade, political and business links the area enjoys with its neighbouring country.
The data released by the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) portrays that 62 million Indian tourists have passports, and yet they do not travel at all.
But then, the demographic patterns indicate that the younger populace is steadily increasing and there has been a growth in the Indian middle class that in turn proves that the country boasts of a rising number of people travelling overseas. India has been named as the largest growing tourism market and the UNWTO has predicted that as much as 50 million Indians would be travelling annually by the year 2020.
Last year, Air India Express had also included three non-stop flights from Sharjah to Tiruchirapally and Chandigarh, and in Dubai, the airport authorities had set a target to add 50,000 seats every week to the existing Indian routes.
It is expected that the Indian tourist numbers would greatly increase in the year 2017 thanks to the recent opening of the Bollywood Theme Park at Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR).