Published on : Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The Kuwait government has multiple plans for investing billions of dollars in projects with an additional $1 billion for promoting the Gulf state for welcoming 440,000 visitors a year by 2024. As Kuwait prepares to showcase itself at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, set to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre April 24-27, plans are in place for establishing a Supreme Commission for Tourism to initiate its tourism strategy.
A handful of mega projects will be under the purview of the multi-billion dollar development budget, including: Madinat Al Hareer and Silk City, a proposed mega-development in the country’s north; the expansion of Kuwait International Airport, reaching 25 million passenger per year capacity by 2025 and cultural attractions like Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Islamic Centre.
To quote Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, “Kuwait is evolving into a multifaceted destination with many things to offer both corporate and leisure visitors. The government is making huge investments at a crucial time for the country’s development and, in channeling significant funds into tourism infrastructure, leisure developments and lifestyle destinations, in the long-term Kuwait is telling the world it’s very much open for business.”
According to the WTTC figures, investment in travel and tourism in Kuwait is expected to increase 1.5% per annum over the next ten years to KD 135.6 million by 2027. 70% of visitors arrived in Kuwait as corporate travelers in 2016, with the country’s leisure industry comprising only 6% of total arrivals. As a result, hotel performance declined 6% overall for the year. Business spending also suffered losses, decreasing 2.4% over the course of the year.
It is anticipated that the Kuwait travel industry is set for a strong recovery this year with continuous growth till 2026, reaching values of KD 501.3 million. This year, ATM will host a number of exhibitors from Kuwait, including the Ministry of Information — Tourism Sector, Holidays Arabia, Kuwait Hotel Owners Association, Kuwait Tourism and Services.