2.5 mln Chinese tourists to visit GCC by 2021. 2.5 mln Chinese tourists to visit GCC by 2021.

Chinese arrivals to the GCC are predicted to go up by 21% to 2.5 million visitors by 2021, according to the data released ahead of the Arabian Travel Market 2018 (ATM). It’s scheduled to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22 to 25, 2018.

Currently, GCC attracts 1.9% of China’s total tourist outbound market, which is up from 1.3% recorded in 2012. The upward trend is expected to continue as 154 million Chinese tourists are expected to travel abroad in 2018, followed by 244 million in 2022, a statement said.

ATM exhibition director Simon Press said: “The outbound Chinese market represents a vast, untapped pool of affluent and adventurous travellers and the GCC has been a destination of choice for years. Owing to its many business opportunities and a new generation of leisure attractions, figures show the GCC is poised to further capitalise on these trends over the coming years as millions of Chinese make their first international trip.

The data from Colliers shows steady growth of Chinese arrivals to the GCC is spurred by business, leisure and religious tourism.

The data shows that almost 15,000 Chinese Muslims visit Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia and that number is predicted to increase as the Muslim population in China is slated to grow and account for 2.1% of the country’s total population by 2030.

To further cater to the growing trend, ATM 2018 will host a panel discussion titled “What Middle East Businesses can do to capture the attention (and wallets) of Chinese luxury travellers.”

Hosted by Chloé Reuter, an expert in the Chinese luxury market and Founder of Reuter Communications, the discussion will explore the opportunities surrounding China’s 500 million millennials.

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