Russian tourists travelling to the GCC are expected to generate an estimated USD 1.22 billion in travel and tourism revenue by 2023, an increase of 19% when compared with figures from 2018.
According to data published by Reed Travel Exhibitions ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020 the UAE will witness the highest growth, with total tourism spend by Russian visitors projected to reach USD 1.153 billion by 2023 and tourism spend per trip increasing 5% from US$ 1,600 to US$ 1,750.
“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,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market.
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 USD 28,659,600 and USD 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.
Curtis said: “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.”
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.