Recently released data ahead of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019 revealed that Indian visitors travelling to the GCC will account for an extra 10.8 million room nights over the approaching five years.
The latest research published by Colliers International predicts around nine million Indians will travel to the GCC by 2022 – 37 per cent of India’s total outbound market – with business, place of work and leisure underpinning this demand.
Indian outbound tourists will amount to 22.5 million in 2018, with reports from the UNWTO estimating this figure will increase by 122 per cent to reach over 50 million by 2022.
Furthermore, Indian tourists are among the world’s highest spenders per visit made abroad, with visitor spend expected to increase from $23 billion in 2018 to $45 billion by 2022.
Exhibition director ME, ATM, Danielle Curtis said: “The Indian outbound market has continued to grow at an average annual growth rate of 10-12 per cent over the last seven years. The GCC has benefited from this trend, with Indian the travellers’ willingness and ability to spend on outbound travel supported by the country’s pace-setting seven per cent GDP growth and a new generation of leisure attractions in the GCC, as well as increased business opportunities and relaxed visa regulations for Indian nationals.”
India retained the top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with over one million Indian tourists arriving in the emirate during the first half of 2018, registering a three per cent rise over the same period in 2017. Relaxed visa restrictions and the introduction of a free two-day transit visa have contributed to this growth.
Curtis concluded: “The 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, moving forward. A rapidly growing younger population, combined with a burgeoning middle class who have an increasing amount of disposable income, provide strong indications that the country will continue to see a steep rise in the number of nationals travelling abroad over the coming years.”