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2.5 million Chinese travellers to visit GCC annually by 2021
The number of travellers visiting the Middle East from China has significantly increased and industry leaders are suggesting it will only continue to rise, a new research showed.
According to the latest Q1 data compiled by Expedia Group, at least 2.5 million Chinese travellers are expected to visit the GCC each year by 2021.
Expedia Group’s data further revealed that Asian travellers topped the list of international demand into the region, with travellers from China ranked in the top three Asian regions travelling to the Middle East.
Other Asian markets that showed a high volume in demand were India (ranked fourth globally and first from Asia), and South Korea and Japan (ranked 2nd and 4th among Asian regions respectively).
The data released by Expedia Group also presented that demand for travel into the region showed a healthy year-on-year increase, with travellers to Salmiyah and Kuwait City in Kuwait showing a notable growth in demand of almost 60 per cent and just over 45 per cent respectively.
Mobile Demand
The number of smartphone users globally is forecast to grow to around 2.5 billion in 2019.
This growth in smartphone usage could be the reason why travellers are progressively choosing to book their travel on a mobile platform over other avenues.
According to Expedia Group’s data, Asian travellers once again topped the list of mobile demand into the region with travellers from South Korea and Japan showing a year-on-year increase of around 70 per cent and 60 per cent respectively. Other markets that showed a healthy growth in mobile demand to the Middle East were Germany (up 85 per cent), Denmark (up 60 per cent), France (up 60 per cent) and the UK (up 60 per cent).
Paula De Keijzer, senior director Market Management Middle East, Indian Ocean, Africa, Greece & Turkey, Expedia Group, said: “As seen from the data, there has been a growth in the number of travellers coming from Asia- particularly from China. It is suggested that this growth could be driven by local travel incentives introduced into the region, which include visa on arrival for Chinese visitors and acceptance of Chinese credit cards. These factors could be adding to the appeal of the GCC to Chinese tourists."
  Source: Trade Arabia

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