GCC welcomes more Indian travellers

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According to a new report from Colliers International, India’s high-spending middle classes will continue to mean the country is a major tourism source market for the Gulf states.

The Indian outbound tourism market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, second only to that of China, with an estimated 22.5 million outbound tourism departures from the country in 2018. This number is estimated to rise to 50 million by 2022.

According to the report, around 5.4 million Indian tourists visited Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in 2018, with this number expected to nearly double to nine million by 2022. “Tourist arrivals from India into the GCC have witnessed constant progression year on year. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that India will account for over 50 million outbound tourists by 2022, making India a $45-billion outbound spend market,” said the report.

For the past three years, Indian travellers have been Dubai’s largest source market, with a total of 2.3 million Indian tourists, accounting for 13 per cent of its annual visitors, visiting in 2017.

Colliers estimates that an extra 10.8 million room-nights will be created by increased demand from Indian tourists to the GCC in the next five years.

Despite the slowdown in Indian rupee fluctuations, the report says that India’s seven-per-cent GDP growth, young population and burgeoning middle-class will all contribute to the increase in outbound visitors. Indians also rank among some of the highest spenders per visit made, with the average Indian traveller spending $1,200 per visit compared with Americans and British travellers, who spend on average $700 and $500 respectively.