According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO) the next 20 years will see an enormous increase in outbound travel and tourism from the Middle East, especially from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.
Population and Incomes on the Rise
The Middle East countries are now experiencing a concurrent rise in population and disposable incomes, which is stimulating a simultaneous surge in outbound travel and tourism. Already the travel marketplace in the UAE and Saudi Arabia alone is worth over $11.4 billion, creating intense interest among Asian and European destinations to attract this multi-billion dollar market, predicted to be worth upwards of $20 billion within the next twenty years.
Exhibition Space Going Like Hotcakes
Supporting this outlook is the increase in interest in the upcoming Arabian Travel Market 2012 trade show, which has witnessed an upturn in inquiries resulting in almost 60% of the exhibition space being taken.
The Group Exhibition Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions and organizer of the Arabian Travel Market 2012, Mark Walsh stated,
“The region is not only one of the fastest growing inbound markets, but for some, more crucially, it is one of the fastest growing outbound markets. We have received bookings from all five continents of the world reconfirming the importance of this regions outbound tourism potential.”
Billion Dollar Sector
It is foreseen by the WTO that an added two million Arabs will travel across the globe in the next 20 years, bringing the total of travelers from this region to 37 million. This population of tourists will spend about $20 billion on their trips, and will account for 2.2% of total international outbound travel, representing an increase of 0.7%.
“Those numbers may seem modest, but it is a case of quality not quantity with travelers from this region. According to the WTO, the average tourist from the UAE spends $22,000 a year on flights and accommodation alone, totaling $6.6 billion annually spent on outbound travel. Saudi Arabia’s market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion,” added Walsh.
The Arabian Travel Market 2012 trade show is scheduled to take place from April 30th through May 3rd at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.