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Hotels in the Middle East Become Increasingly Popular with Indian Travelers

News Hotels in the GCC region (Gulf Cooperation Council) become increasingly popular with Indian travelers. According to the newest report by Colliers International, as many as nine million travelers from India will stay at hotels of the region by 2021. That’s a large number given that the total outbound Indian travel market will be nearly 50 million by 2021, as it is stated in the report by the UNWTO.

Indian travelers also start spending more during their vacation. In 2016, visitors from India spent US$23.1 billion abroad – that is 15.1% higher than a year ago. Dubai hotels benefit the most in this situation because guests from India are the top source market for the emirate. In January to September 2017, Dubai greeted 1,478,000 visitors from the country. That’s a huge increase compared to the same period of 2016 – the growth is more than 20%. There are several reasons for that, such as easier visa requirements for Indians and even an opportunity to issue on-arrival visas under some circumstances.

Bahrain also makes it easier for guests from India to enter the country as now they don’t need to apply for a visa beforehand and simply stamp their passports upon arrival. According to Indian authorities, they still have a lot more to offer a source travel market. The country will participate in the Arabian Travel Market exhibition that will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 22-25 2018. Currently, there are only 65 million passport holders while the population is around 1.3 billion in India. Therefore, the growth of Indian tourist arrivals to the Gulf countries will add 7.8% a year.

If analyzing the period of 2012 to 2016, the percent of visitors from India in the total number of arrivals was the following: 15.6% for Kuwait hotels, 17.6% for Bahrain, 10.6% for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11.2% for Oman, and 9.8% for the United Arab Emirates. These digits are expected to grow in coming years, and experts see no obstacles in that because India’s GDP keeps growing and more middle-income households appear in the country. The growth of households in this category is expected to reach 20% or 58 million.

India as a destination is also becoming more attractive, and a greater number of visitors from the GCC arrive in the country, for example, for medical purposes. There are also resorts like Goa that are very popular with tourists from all over the world. India has also been advertising its resort destinations more actively recently. For example, at the latest Arabian Travel Market exhibition there were nearly a half more booths from India.


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