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The per-capita international tourism spending from the Gulf visitors was 6.5 times higher than the global average last year, with expenditure estimated to be more than $60 billion last year, up from $40 billion in 2010, said a new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC).
The outbound tourism from the fast-growing markets of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE has been growing strongly in recent years, stated the report.
The report, entitled ‘The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market’, which has been prepared by UNWTO and ETC with the support of Value Retail, examines the fast-growing GCC outbound market with an additional focus on the image of Europe as a tourism destination.
Amongst the key findings in the report are that outbound travel from GCC countries to European destinations has benefited from the unprecedented growth in air travel during the past decade, with Gulf carriers becoming major players in long-haul aviation.
Air connectivity between Europe and the GCC has seen exponential growth, providing easy access to travel between the two regions, it stated.
The report also pointed out that the GCC travelers were mostly young and family-oriented, with large disposable incomes, and looking for high-quality accommodation, food, and retail services.
These families value Europe’s variety of attractions and landscapes, developed infrastructure and common visa and currency systems, which make multi-destination travel easier, it added.
According to the report, Europe is seen by these GCC families as offering diversity in experiences as well as opportunities to shop for luxury and designer fashion. The report pointed out that the key barriers for GCC visitors while booking a trip to Europe include safety and security concerns, the language barrier and the high cost of holidays.
The report concludes with specific recommendations on how to position and market Europe to GCC tourists. It also finds that destinations should focus on promoting specific tourism products and develop pan-European themes to attract tourists looking to visit multiple destinations.
Source Credit: Trade Arabia