Chinese tourists to the Gulf set to hit 2.9m by 2022

Expedia Group says significant percentage of GCC-bound Chinese tourists are set to pick the UAE and Dubai
Chinese tourists to the Gulf set to hit 2.9m by 2022
By Sam Bridge
Sat 17 Aug 2019 12:08 AM

The number of Chinese tourists travelling to the GCC is expected to rise by 81 percent from 1.6 million in 2018 to 2.9 million in 2022, according to the latest data compiled by Expedia Group

The figures from the second quarter of 2019 suggest a significant percentage of Chinese tourists will choose the UAE and Dubai as their preferred holiday destination.

The data also revealed that while travelers from the US, the UK and France topped the list for overall demand into the country, travellers from China showed a 220 percent year on year growth in package demand compared to the same period last year, making up more than 5 percent share of total package demand.

Other countries that showed strong growth in package demand were the US (up 30 percent growth year on year) Germany (almost 15 percent) and France (nearly 20 percent).

According to Dubai's tourism authority, the emirate welcomed more than 290,000 Chinese visitors in the first three months of the year.

Factors contributing to this significant increase are the result of initiatives that Dubai government is taking to boost the tourism in the country.

Earlier this year, Dubai Tourism signed an agreement with Huawei, the Chinese smartphone manufacturers, to offer useful and cinematographic content of Dubai.

Other private and public sector collaboration on activities such as city-wide Chinese New Year celebrations, upskilling teams to be better able to cater to Chinese travellers’ requests, visa on arrival initiative for Chinese visitors, development of the Dubai Tourism China mark and continued work with stakeholders and travel partners have also driven growth.

Paula de Keijzer, senior director market management, Africa, Indian Ocean, Middle East and Turkey at Expedia Group said: “As seen from this recent data, UAE continues to be a hotspot for international travelers and we are noticing high growth in demand from new countries and regions coming to visit UAE, which is very exciting.

"We believe that, with the boost in new attractions, improved experiences and accommodation options due to the upcoming Expo 2020, UAE will see a major boost in outbound travel."

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