Arabian Travel Market ATM Dubai

GCC Tourism Flourishes with UK, China Visitor Spike

Al Rais Travel, the official Destination Management Company (DMC) partner of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has revealed key trends propelling the tourism industry in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the broader GCC.

With increasing visitor numbers from major source markets like the UK and China, the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism event is setting the stage for discussing the region’s thriving tourism sector.

Dubai’s standing as a safe and reputable destination has been a significant factor in the rise of tourism, particularly from the UK and China. The city’s post-pandemic recovery has been impressive, with the first half of 2023 showing record-breaking figures. Mohamed Al Rais, Deputy Managing Director at Al Rais Travel, notes the shuffle in inbound market dynamics, with a notable surge in British tourists and the swift resurgence of the Chinese market.

This upward trend aligns with the data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), which indicates a marked increase in tourists from India and the UK, and a staggering 309% increase in Chinese tourists compared to the previous year. Despite a slight decline, Saudi Arabia continues to be a key market.

Al Rais also highlights the synergistic potential of UAE and Saudi tourism, suggesting that a collaborative approach could lead to a multi-country tour experience, akin to Central Europe’s tourist trails. This concept is bolstered by the UAE’s Minister of Economy’s announcement of a unified GCC tourist visa expected by 2025, set to enhance travel convenience and tourism across the Gulf States.

Aligning with ATM’s theme, “Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship,” and the UAE Tourism Strategy 2031, Al Rais Travel is actively working with airlines to establish new connections to the UAE and supporting their market entry, aiding the nation’s tourism development goals.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director of ATM, emphasizes the role of regional tourism entities in fostering innovation and driving the industry forward. The upcoming edition of ATM will spotlight industry contributions across environmental sustainability, technology, and transportation, among other sectors.

ATM is preparing for its 31st edition, where industry leaders will convene to discuss innovations shaping travel and tourism’s future. The event will continue to focus on net-zero initiatives, echoing the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the upcoming COP28 in Dubai, aiming to drive the sector towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The last ATM event witnessed a record-breaking turnout with over 40,000 professionals, showcasing the Middle East as a global hub for tourism insights and innovation.

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