By Sam Bridge
New research says the UAE and Saudi Arabia will benefit most from rise in tourists from Scandinavia in coming years
Nordic tourists travelling to the GCC from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, are expected to generate an estimated $810 million in travel and tourism revenue by 2024, according to new research.
Data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre in April, predicts the UAE will witness the highest growth, with total tourism spend by Nordic visitors projected to reach $718 million by 2024, an increase of 36 percent compared to 2018. Tourism spend per trip is forecast to reach $2,088.
The Colliers International research also said that Saudi Arabia is expected to witness the second largest increase followed by Bahrain, with total Nordic tourism spend estimated to reach $86.7 million and $53 million respectively, by 2024.
Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “The Nordic countries’ outbound tourism market has experienced incremental growth over the last five years, with 50.5 million overseas visits made by residents during 2018 alone.
“And, with Nordic citizens enjoying one of the highest average incomes in the world and being amongst the world’s highest spenders while travelling abroad, the GCC is looking to capitalise on their spending power over the next five years.”
Looking at Nordic outbound tourism figures, arrivals from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland to the GCC will increase 23 percent over the period 2018 to 2024, driven by an increasing number of new and direct flight routes, relaxed visa requirements and the vast number of unique travel experiences that the region has to offer, Colliers noted.
Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia have been popular destinations for Norwegian business tourists for many years due to their joint interests in the oil industry, while for Swedish, Icelandic, Danish and Finnish tourists, the UAE and wider GCC region offer year-round sunshine allowing them to escape the constant mid-winter temperatures of below freezing, it added.
According to the Colliers data, approximately 383,800 Nordic citizens will travel to the GCC in 2024, with Swedish tourists leading the number of arrivals, totaling 191,900. Visitors from Denmark will follow with 76,700 arrivals, closely followed by Norway, Finland and Iceland with 62,800, 47,200 and 5,200 arrivals, respectively.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.