The GCC is gaining a stronger position to become a global tourism hub backed by competitive advantages that attract international travellers looking for a new tourism experiences, according to a report released by Orient Planet Research, an Orient Planet Group venture.
The report highlighted that the GCC recorded 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals in 2018, up by 6% from the previous year, which confirms the successful efforts of the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman in establishing a greater presence on the regional and global map.
According to the report, the UAE receives more than 10 million visitors annually with Abu Dhabi and Dubai as among the most attractive places to visit for tourists, while Sharjah is rapidly increasing its tourism appeal, having attracted 1.7 million visitors in 2017.
Orient Planet Group managing director Nidal Abou Zaki said: “The regional tourism sector is witnessing rapid development to meet the growing demand of international travellers. Tourism entities have been developing a wide range of options that cater to various types of visitors. Some of these activities include health tourism, cultural events, entertainment, heritage, eco-tourism, music festivals, which reflect the richness of the Arabian Gulf’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage. GCC countries have been continuously promoting attractive tourism elements in line with their ambitious drive to diversify the economy, which is evident in the results of our report. It confirms the success of their efforts to bring the tourism sector to a new level of growth and competitiveness."
The report further emphasised the need to strengthen regulatory and legal frameworks governing the tourism industry to drive the growth of this vital sector as an essential source of growth and economic diversification, and a key pillar for improving the quality of life in the region.