24 April, 2017
Major tourism destinations in the GCC will increase efforts to target Indian inbound
tourists, as regional and international guests from Europe to feel the acute
financial pressures of the challenging global economy.
The findings were published by Colliers International at Arabian
Travel Market, at Dubai World Trade
Centre, during a seminar session entitled ‘Capitalising on Experiential
Travel: China & India Mega Source Markets’.
Making a total of 12 recommendations concerning visas,
accommodation, cultural sensitivities and marketing, the report advises
GCC-wide multi-entry visas with similar principles to the Schengen Area; hotel
welcome kits and signage in guests’ native languages; promotion of cultural
celebrations and festivals from each country; and targeted loyalty programmes.
Colliers International also assessed the compatibility of key
GCC destinations with four traveller types: Corporate, MICE attendees, leisure
first-timers and experienced leisure travellers, for Indian
In both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, India was the top performing source
market in 2016. In Dubai, 1.8 million nationals arrived last year compared to
1.6 million in 2015 and in Abu Dhabi, which welcomed a record-breaking 4.4
million visitors in total in 2016, 323,388 were Indian. According to the
figures from Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, this marked an increase
of 15% on 2015.
Over the last five years, Oman has seen an increase of 60% in the number of arrivals from
India. Capitalising on its breath-taking scenery, Oman is also working to
promote itself as a wedding destination to tourists from West Bengal and
In Qatar, Indian
visitors enjoyed a higher compatibility across all four visitor types, with the
country now the second largest source market after Saudi Arabia. Numbers are expected to grow in line with the launch
of several high-profile sport and leisure attractions over the coming years.
For Chinese visitors, initiatives such as the Qatar China
2016 Year of Culture helped boost the profile of Arab states in domestic
Chinese markets, with arrivals to Doha
from Asia and Oceania totalling 342,976 in the first half of last year.