Arrivals to the GCC from the UK are expected to increase by as much as 22% by 2024, according to new data from Colliers International.
The data, which has been released in advance of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020, says that the increase will be the result of direct and new flight routes as well as a growth in the number of leisure travellers and more competitive air fares.
Around 2.8 million residents of Great Britain will be travelling to the GCC in 2024, a rise of 500,000 tourists in comparison to arrival figures from last year.
ATM figures from this year are already showing a 5% rise in the number of delegates as well as attendees and exhibitors who would like to do business with the UK.
ATM’s exhibition director ME Danielle Curtis says that the GCC and the UK have historically had a great record in regard to tourism and travel links and that this trend looks set to continue across the next four years.
The most preferred destination in the GCC for tourists from the UK is likely to continue to be the United Arab Emirates, with 2.23 million visitors predicted by 2023.
Second place is expected to go to Saudi Arabia with 251,000 visitors, while Oman is expected to welcome 165,000, Bahrain 159,000, and Kuwait 5,000.
UK tourists who travel to the GCC will likely generate as much as $US6.3bn in revenue for the travel and tourism industry by 2024, a rise of 34% over 2018 figures, the research data suggests.
Total tourism spending within the GCC reached a total of $70.2bn in 2018, with the average spending of travellers from the UK being 27% higher than other visitors to the region.
Last year saw Bahrain experience the highest average spending per visit with $3,298.
Saudi Arabia was again in second place with $2,047 for the average spending per trip by UK tourists, with the UAE following with $2,020.
Curtis notes that the UK is an important and consistent top source market for the region, and continues to demonstrate significant potential for further growth in travel and tourism revenue all over the region.
The GCC in general and the UAE and Dubai specifically, as well as being commercial hubs, also offer tourists unique travel experiences, exciting leisure amenities and facilities, world-class resorts and hotels, and sunshine all year long, Curtis adds.
A wide array of exhibitors from the UK will be welcomed by ATM 2020, including the likes of Visit Britain Shop, Chelsea FC, Blenheim Palace, and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
However, Curtis says ATM also offers the ideal platform for destinations in the UK, as well as hotels, tour operators, travel agents and attractions.
Anyone who is interested in travelling to the GCC or UAE in particular should make sure that they have travel insurance in advance of their journey.
Travel insurance ensures that travellers are not left adversely financially affected in the event of lost luggage or cancelled flights.