Russian tourists travelling to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are expected to generate an estimated US$1.22 billion in travel and tourism revenue by 2023, an increase of 19% when compared with figures from 2018. The latest Colliers research commissioned by Reed Travel Exhibitions predicts the UAE will witness the highest growth, with total tourism spend by Russian visitors projected to reach US$1.153 billion by 2023 and tourism spend per trip increasing 5% from US$1,600 to US$1,750.
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. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “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.”
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 US$28,659,600 and US$21,788,000 respectively, by 2023. “Saudi Arabia’s Giga Projects 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. Higher Russian visitor numbers will help support investment opportunities and economic diversification, in line with the kingdom’s plans to target 30 million visitors annually by 2030,” Curtis concluded.