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GCC Countries Prepare to Welcome a Record Number of Indian Tourists

News Tourists from India become increasingly interested in traveling abroad, and it looks like the Middle East is one of their primary choices. Colliers International predicts that one-fifth of the total outbound travel market in India will visit GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries by 2024. This includes both business and leisure guests. Last year, 5.4 million tourists from India visited GCC countries. Experts forecast that this number will grow significantly in the coming years, reaching an increase of 81% in 2024 or 9.8 million tourists. This is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%.

The UAE is one of the most popular destinations with Indian tourists these days. Dubai hotels are a popular choice for vacation. As many as 2.89 million Indian tourists visited the country in 2018. By 2024, this number is expected to grow to 5.29 million tourists. Experts think that tourism to the UAE will grow even faster than to the Middle East in total, so the country’s CAGR will be 11%. Hotels in Dubai already have more Indian tourists than guests from other countries. India is the #1 source market for the emirate. Almost 1 million Indians visited the emirate during the first 6 months of 2019.

With the UAE leading the race, other countries of GCC are also expected to reach significant growth. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain may enjoy an annual 10% increase in the number of guests from India until 2024.

In 2018, Indians made more than 26 million international trips. As Indians enjoy traveling abroad, this number is expected to grow tremendously in the coming years, reaching an increase of 92% or 50 million international trips by 2022. Moreover, Indian tourists are among the biggest spenders in the world when they are abroad. That being said, the travel expenditure of this nation will grow to US$39.3 billion by 2024 from US$21.4 billion last year.

An average Indian tourist spent US$1,100 per trip to a GCC country in 2018. Business travelers and experience tourists spend roughly 15% more than the average. GCC countries, in their turn, try to promote tourism and attract a larger share of Indian travelers. For example, ATM 2020 will have the India Market Forum as a part of the event. This forum will provide information for buyers and exhibitors and will help tourist companies and agencies to establish a vital partnership.


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