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GCC outbound tourism spending surges to $60bn

DUBAI, November 10, 2018

The per-capita international tourism spending from the Gulf visitors was 6.5 times higher than the global average last year, with expenditure estimated to be more than $60 billion last year, up from $40 billion in 2010, said a new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC).
 
The outbound tourism from the fast-growing markets of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE has been growing strongly in the recent years, stated the report.
 
The report, entitled 'The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market’, which has been prepared by UNWTO and ETC with the support of Value Retail, examines the fast-growing GCC outbound market with an additional focus on the image of Europe as a tourism destination. 
 
"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," remarked UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili after launching the report.
 
Amongst the key findings in the report are that outbound travel from GCC countries to European destinations has benefited from the unprecedented growth in air travel during the past decade, with Gulf carriers becoming major players in long-haul aviation. 
 
Air connectivity between Europe and the GCC has seen exponential growth, providing easy access to travel between the two regions, it stated.
 
The report also pointed out that the GCC travellers were mostly young and family-oriented, with large disposable incomes, and looking for high-quality accommodation, food and retail services. 
 
These familes value Europe’s variety of attractions and landscapes, developed infrastructure and common visa and currency systems, which make multi-destination travel easier, it added. 
 
"These nations remain a growing source market for European destinations, which should themselves capitalize on the potential of a younger, value-driven, well-informed and technology-savvy GCC traveller," remarked ETC President Peter de Wilde.
 
According to the report, Europe is seen by these GCC families as offering diversity in experiences as well as opportunities to shop for luxury and designer fashion. 
 
The report pointed out that the key barriers for GCC visitors while booking a trip to Europe include safety and security concerns, the language barrier and the high cost of holidays.
 
The report concludes with specific recommendations on how to position and market Europe to GCC tourists. 
 
It also finds that destinations should focus on promoting specific tourism products and develop pan-European themes to attract tourists looking to visit multiple destinations.
 
The launch of the study will be supported by a webinar providing an overview of prospects in the GCC outbound travel market, insights into the profile and behaviour of GCC travellers, and appropriate targeted marketing strategies and messages for GCC consumers, it added.-TradeArabia News Service Service



Tags: GCC | UNWTO | etc |

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