The number of travellers visiting the Middle East from China is expected to increase 81%, from 1.6 million in 2018 to 2.9 million in 2022, a Wam report said.
However, this is still a relatively small percentage of China’s total outbound market, which is expected to rise from 154 million people travelling abroad in 2018 to 400 million by 2030.
Key drivers for increasing Chinese travel to the region are expected to include growing political ties, the introduction of more direct flights, the growth of the Chinese economy and increasing disposable income among Chinese tourists.
Colliers said Chinese travel to Saudi was projected to see a compound annual growth rate of 33% between 2018 and 202, followed by the UAE at 13%, Oman at 12% and Bahrain and Kuwait at 7%.
China is currently the fifth largest source market to the UAE after passport holders were granted visa on arrival entry at the end of 2016. Direct flights between China and the GCC are now offered by Etihad, Saudia, Gulf Air, China Eastern and Air China and Emirates, with the latter operating 38 a week.
Source Credit: Gulf Business