Published on : Wednesday, December 5, 2018
The latest report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC) illustrates that outbound tourism from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – having six countries of the Arabian Peninsula has emerged strongly in recent times with international tourism expenditure exceeding USD60 billion in last year.
‘The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market’, the recent report arranged by UNWTO and ETC with the support of value retail, inspects the fast-growing outbound market of the GCC countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE – with extra focus on the image of Europe as a tourism destination.
It shows that from GCC, per-capita international tourism spending was 6.5 times higher than the global average in last year, with expenditure estimated to be more than USD60 billion in 2017, a rise from USD40 billion in 2010.
“GCC countries constitute a fast-growing market with the potential to make a significant contribution to European tourism, diversifying demand and promoting new tourism segments”, said Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general, UNWTO, upon launching the report.
Amongst its main findings, the report highlights that outbound travel from GCC countries to European destinations has profited from the unparalleled growth in air travel in the last decade, with Gulf carriers turning out to be the major players in long-haul aviation. Air connectivity between Europe and the GCC has experienced immense growth, offering easy access to travel between the two regions.
It observes that GCC travelers are typically young and family-oriented, with huge disposable incomes, and interested in high-quality accommodation, food and retail services. They value variety of European attractions and landscapes, developed infrastructure and common visa and currency systems, which make multi-destination travel easier.