GCC visitors travelling to the UK in record numbers

The year 2017 was a good one for the UK as visitor numbers and spending from the GCC reached record levels, new data showed.

According to the latest official figures from VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourism agency, there were a record 812,000 visits from the GCC to the UK in 2017, up 5 per cent on the previous year, with visitors spending £2.2 billion ($2.85 billion), up 55 per cent, also setting a new record.

Commenting on the new figures, Tricia Warwick, VisitBritain’s newly appointed director – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said: “The GCC is a significant market and a huge tourism opportunity for VisitBritain. It is fantastic that more people than ever are travelling to Britain and enjoying experiences that you cannot get anywhere else, from world-class shopping and personal shopping experiences, fine-dining in Michelin star restaurants, luxury sporting and heritage breaks, contemporary culture and vibrant cities, to beautiful countryside and globally renowned historic sites and museums.”

Operating from the Dubai regional office, Warwick will be focusing on growing the value and the volume of inbound tourism from this region by developing and amplifying the trade and public diplomacy partnerships by driving inspiration and conversion to explore Britain through the “I Travel For…” consumer marketing campaign.”

“Britain is offering great value for visitors from the GCC, it ranks number one for GCC outbound destinations by overnights visit volume in Western Europe, and we are working hard with partners including tour operators and airlines to make it easier to book and explore more of the country, inspiring visitors to travel right now.”

VisitBritain is working with partners across the GCC including WeGo and Etihad Airways, to amplify its marketing reach and convert the aspiration to visit the UK into bookings, and to showcase how accessible regional Britain is for visitors from the GCC, promoting regional destinations in England, making it easier for visitors to book and explore more the country. – TradeArabia News Service