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UAE sees increasing demand from Asian travelers

By: Expedia Group, a prominent global travel platform

According to the latest data1 compiled by Expedia Group fromQ3 2018, the number of Asian travelers to the UAE, particularly from China and India, has significantly increased, furthering the country’s position as a top tourist destination.

The data revealed that while travelers from US and UK topped the list for travel into the country, travelers from China and India showed the highest growth in demand compared to the same period last year (both showing almost 245% and over 60% respectively).

Factors contributing to this significant increase could be due to initiatives made by the UAE government to further inbound tourism, such as providing free 48-hour transit visas2 to travelers passing through the UAE, visa on arrival facilities, and acceptance of Chinese credit cards. Additionally, Indian tourists are likely to be choosing UAE as a holiday destination due to its easy reach- more than 1,000 flights operate weekly between UAE and India.

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Package Demand

According to Expedia Group’s data, Chinese and Indian travelers once again showed the highest year-on-year increase in demand, this time for package travel into the UAE, with a year-on-year increase of over 350% and 95% respectively. Other countries that showed growth in package demand were the USA with just over 90%, France with almost 35%, and the United Kingdom with an increase of over 5%.

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Orla Lee, VP, Market Management EMEA, Expedia Group said, “As seen from the recent data, the UAE continues to be a tourist hotspot, especially for Chinese and Indian travelers who have displayed a steady increase. This growth could be driven by various incentives introduced into the region, which include an increase in air capacity by budget carriers from China and India, increased business opportunities, strategic marketing tie-ups, and promotional activities, etc. All these factors could be adding to the appeal of UAE to Indian and Chinese visitors”.

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Indians boosting hospitality 

The number of Indian tourists traveling to the GCC over the coming five years to create an extra 10.8 million hotel room nights, according to data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2019.  37% of India’s total outbound market will travel to GCC by 2022, and the UAE and Saudi are to lead comparative growth, by witnessing a 6% increase in Indian arrivals by 2022.