Countries in the GCC include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain and they all offer a good range of flight options and a varied tourism product, which appeals to European travellers, says GlobalData.
The company’s latest report, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Tourism Destination Market Insight, reveals that in 2019 pre-pandemic arrivals from Europe to GCC countries reached 11.8 million tourists. In 2020, arrivals collapsed to 3.9 million due to the pandemic, a 67-per-cent year-over-year decrease, however, post-pandemic arrivals are forecasted to recover to 13.3 million tourists by 2024, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5 per cent.
A diverse range of tourist attractions
Gus Gardner, Associate Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Given the high levels of growth expected from European travellers arriving in GCC countries over the next three years, they will be a key driver of the regions tourism recovery from Covid-19. One country of particular importance to the region is the UK, as GlobalData’s latest forecasts show that UK arrivals to GCC countries will reach 3 million by 2024 a CAGR of 21.7 per cent.”
UK travellers have always been attracted to GCC countries as they offer a diverse tourism proposition for summer and winter sun. The opulence and status of Dubai with luxury hotels is also popular with UK travellers.
Gardner added: “Countries across the GCC have plenty to entice Europeans, with a mix of activities from the traditional beach holiday to the cultural experience provided by the regions traditions and history. This will help it to regain its popularity quicker than those destinations that only offer a city break experience.”