JEDDAH — Expenditure on outbound travel from the Middle East is expected to reach $165.3 billion by 2025, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Highlighting the buoyant outbound travel market, another report, issued by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (2015 Tourism Highlights), which includes research teams from Frost & Sullivan and Insights Middle East, revealed a 9 percent growth in the number of outbound travellers from the region in 2015, while the total estimated value of outbound travellers from the GCC in 2014 was $64 billion.
The common denominator for both these reports is that the growth is being driven by international luxury travellers, which dovetails conveniently with the launch of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Arabia, in collaboration with Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
The new vertical luxury event takes place on the first two days of the four-day ATM (April 24-25) located in hall 1 of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
ILTM Arabia will target high net-worth travellers from throughout the GCC and wider Middle East region, with buyers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar expected to have a particularly strong presence.
Alison Gilmore, Portfolio Director for ILTM, said: “The Arabian outbound market is established and affluent, with a growing generation of individuals looking to spend their leisure time in the world’s finest places. This year we are inviting some of our closest partners to experience the new ILTM Arabia and explore the increasing business opportunities from the region’s highest net worth travellers.”
Simon Press Senior Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, commented: “Although low oil prices and sluggish economic growth at home might be stifling business confidence, the strength of the US dollar of which many of the GCC currencies are pegged to, means travelling overseas is invariably better value than it was in the past. The UAE for example witnessed a 19% increase in outbound trips to Europe in 2013-2015.”
Research company Euromonitor International, says the number of outbound trips from the UAE alone increased by 5 per cent to 3.5 million in 2015, with those travellers spending $19.35 billion, up 10 per cent on 2014 – UAE residents travelled for longer and spent more in 2015.
Only the most discerning luxury travel buyers from the region will be invited to the event including companies such as FSMagic and Quintessentially Travel. Buyers will be fully hosted by ILTM and attend one-to-one, pre-scheduled appointments with up to 25 international luxury travel brands – a first for ATM and the proven successful ILTM portfolio format.
Confirmed exhibitors at ILTM Arabia include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The One Barcelona (Spain) and Velaa Private Island (Maldives).