A Signature Media Publication

Indian outbound to GCC expected to increase by 2021


Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to latest figures from Colliers International.

Reports from the UNWTO suggest the outbound Indian travel market will grow to 50 million by 2021, with average spend per trip by Indian travellers also increasing – UNWTO statistics reveal India is among the top 12 source markets globally that showed double digit growth in expenditure in 2016 – visitor spend reached a total of US$23.1 billion in 2016, up 15.1% year-on-year.

All these factors and more will be showcased at the forthcoming 25th edition of Arabian Travel Market scheduled to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 22-25 April 2018

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “Surprisingly, there are just over 65 million passport holders in India out of a population of around 1.3 billion. Still it is no surprise that the growth of the global travel industry is being led by Asian travellers and the Middle East region can expect to benefit, with Indian tourist arrivals expected to grow by CAGR of seven to eight percent.”

Over the five-year period from 2012 to 2016, average percentage of Indian arrivals out of total arrivals in Kuwait was 15.4%; KSA, 10.6%; Bahrain, 17.6%; Oman, 11.2%; and UAE 9.8%.

According to ATM’s official research partner, Colliers, by 2021, this is expected to increase to: Kuwait (17.12%), KSA (11.88%), Bahrain (19.26%), UAE (10.8%) and Oman (11.9%). India retained top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September, registering a significant 20% rise over 2016.

India is also attracting visitors from the GCC, which is a top source market for medical tourism, and is expected to grow, as an entire industry, to US$ eight billion by 2020 from the US$3.9 billion of 2016. While the west coast resorts, such as Goa, remain popular with Middle East travellers, given its close proximity to the region.

ATM 2018 has adopted Responsible Tourism as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities, including focused seminar session, featuring dedicated exhibitor participation.