Russian tourism to GCC worth $1.22 billion by 2023, says ATM report

  • UAE will witness highest growth with total Russian tourism spend estimated to reach US$1.153 billion by 2023, followed by Saudi Arabia and Oman
  • New buyer forums and networking events at ATM 2020 to place spotlight on Russia’s expanding outbound tourism market

Russian tourists travelling to the GCC are expected to generate an estimated US$1.22 billion in travel and tourism revenue by 2023, an increase of 19% when compared with figures from 2018, according to data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-22 April 2020.

The latest Colliers research commissioned by Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market, predicts the UAE will witness the highest growth, with total tourism spend by Russian visitors projected to reach US$1.153 billion by 2023 and tourism spend per trip increasing 5% from US$1,600 to US$1,750.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “With the oil price recovery, stabling of the financial markets and increased disposable incomes, Russia, once again, represents a significant growth area for travel and tourism revenue across the GCC as Russian nationals turn to the region for its year-round sunshine, world-class hotels and resorts and fast-paced leisure facilities and amenities.”

Building on this, Saudi Arabia is expected to witness the second largest increase closely followed by Oman, with total Russian tourism spend estimated to reach US$28,659,600 and US$21,788,000 respectively, by 2023.

Following recent reforms in the Kingdom, the introduction of tourism e-visas and the on-going development of Giga projects including The Red Sea Project and Amaala, Saudi Arabia is looking to capitalise on Russia’s growing tourism spend.

“Saudi Arabia’s Giga Projects, in particular, are aimed to cater to the luxury segment of the tourism market targeting high-net-worth individuals and Russia is currently ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of billionaires residing in the country, with 303 Russians representing a total billionaire wealth of USD$355 billion,” Curtis said.

Looking at Russian outbound tourism figures, the country continues to be one of the top 10 source markets for the UAE, with 578,000 Russian visitors entering the UAE in 2018 and this number is predicted to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.2% to 688,300 by 2023, according to Colliers International.

Curtis said: “Supporting this projected growth, Russia’s links with the UAE have strengthened in recent years due to relaxed visa regulations for Russian nationals and the introduction of additional airline routes, with flydubai becoming the first airline in the Gulf to offer direct flights between the UAE and Sochi earlier this year.

“Adding to this, Emirates and Etihad Airways have also increased their flights between both countries, with Emirates introducing a third daily flight to Moscow in 2018.”

The research study by Colliers International found that while the UAE will account for the majority of Russian arrivals in the GCC, Oman will witness the second highest comparative growth at 4% – welcoming 13,000 Russian nationals by 2023.

Saudi Arabia will closely follow with 17,100 Russian tourists expected to visit the Kingdom by 2023, compared with 15,200 in 2018 – a comparative growth of 3.2%

“Higher Russian visitor numbers will help support investment opportunities and economic diversification, in line with the kingdom’s plans to target 30 million visitors annually by 2030,” added Curtis.

Over the last 27 years, Russia has been well represented at ATM, with the number of visitors interested in doing business with Russia increasing 16% YoY between 2018 and 2019.

Adding to this, as GCC travel and tourism companies and destinations look to attract a larger share of the Russian market, ATM 2020 will introduce new buyer forums and networking events which will explore the untapped opportunities that Russia’s expanding tourism market presents while discussing how to attract and cater to this key source market.

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.

Adopting Events for Tourism Growth as the official show theme, ATM 2020 will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the impact events have on tourism growth in the region while inspiring the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of events.

-ENDS-

About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)

Arabian Travel Market is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East – introducing both inbound and outbound tourism professionals to over 2,500 of the most breathtaking destinations, attractions and brands as well as the very latest cutting-edge technologies. Attracting almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 150 countries, ATM prides itself on being the hub of all travel and tourism ideas – providing a platform to discuss insights on the ever-changing industry, share innovations and unlock endless business opportunities over the four days. New to ATM 2020 will be the Travel Forward, a high-end travel and hospitality innovation event, dedicated conference summits and ATM buyer forums for key source markets India, Saudi, Russia and China as well as the Responsible Tourism Awards.

To find out more, please visit: www.arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com.

ATM 2020 will take place from Sunday 19th April – Wednesday 22nd April 2020 #IdeasArriveHere

About Arabian Travel Week

Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2020 including ILTM Arabia and Travel Forward – a new travel tech and hospitality innovation event launching this year – as well as ATM Buyer Forums and ATM Speed Networking Events. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector – under one roof over the course of one week – Arabian Travel Week will be returning to Dubai World Trade Centre from Sunday 19th April – Thursday 23rd April 2020. For more information visit: arabiantravelweek.com

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than seven million participants.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises four leading B2B events across four continents, generating more than $7 billion of industry deals. In addition to ATM, the events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. About 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating about £3.4 billion in travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/.

Event was held Monday 4 – Wednesday 6 November 2019 in London #IdeasArriveHere

WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news.http://latinamerica.wtm.com/.

Next event: Tuesday 31 March to Thursday 2 April 2020 – Sao Paulo.

WTM Africalaunched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/.

Next event: Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 April 2020 – Cape Town.

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