By 2023 the countries of the Persian Gulf wait for more than 2 million Russian tourists
According to forecasts of international experts, by 2023 the Russian tourist flow to the countries of the Persian Gulf will exceed 2 million people. International research company Colliers International has conducted a study on trends on the Russian market. According to experts, six countries - Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia, members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) - can count on 125% of arrivals from Russia. Such forecasts are based on a loyal visa policy, the appearance of new air routes and strengthening of Ruble. Over the next five years, Russian travelers will provide an additional 2.9 million overnight stays in GCC countries. At the same time, the number of tourists from Russia who come to the Persian region will increase from 933 thousand people in 2018 to 2.1 million in 2023. According to Daniel Curtis, the director of the Arabian Travel Market, the Gulf region is traditionally popular among Russian tourists. Nevertheless, in 2015, due to the crisis, the number of visitors from the Russian Federation decreased. “As the Ruble rate and the price of oil have stabilized, we see again a large increase in the number of Russian visitors. According to our estimates, this trend will continue,” he said. As emphasized in the study, the most popular destination for Russian tourists in the GCC is the UAE. The Russian Federation is in the TOP 10 of source markets for the Emirates: in 2017 the UAE was visited by 530,000 Russian tourists, which is 121% higher than the result of 2016. According to Colliers, such a dynamic is due to the cancelation of visas for Russian citizens. According to experts, the Russian flow to the United Arab Emirates will continue to grow in 2018: 895,700 tourists from the Russian Federation are expected in seven emirates (+ 69% by 2017). Thanks to the programs of Russian tour operators who are actively entering the markets of Qatar, Bahrain and Oman in this winter season, there will be more Russian tourists in these countries. For example, only thanks to PEGAS Touristik charter program, Oman will host about 5,400 Russian tourists this winter.