The data, published as a taster for this year’s Arabian Travel Market 2020 in April, suggests that the numbers of tourists travelling to GCC countries from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will increase by 23 per cent over the period 2018-2024, with total tourism spend set to reach US$810 million by the end of the analysed period. According to Colliers International, highest growth will be seen in the United Arab Emirates, with total spend likely to increase by 36 per cent between 2018 and 2024, and spend per individual trip estimated to reach $2,088. Saudi Arabia will see the second largest increase, followed by Bahrain.
The increase in tourism is largely driven by the proliferation of new and more direct air routes, as well as a relaxation of visa requirements. Sweden will be the biggest Nordic source market for tourism arrivals, followed by Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
“The Nordic countries’ outbound tourism market has experienced incremental growth over the last five years, with 50.5 million overseas visits made by residents during 2018 alone,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME at Arabian Travel Market. “And with Nordic citizens enjoying one of the highest average incomes in the world and being amongst the world’s highest spenders while travelling abroad, the GCC is looking to capitalise on their spending power over the next five years. Adding to this, ATM is witnessing this growth first-hand, with the number of delegates, exhibitors and attendees interested in doing business with these countries increasing by 35 per cent between 2018 and 2019.”
According to Colliers, as many as 383,800 Nordic tourists will head to the GCC in 2024.