GCC Hospitality set to grow
The GCC hospitality sector is poised for healthy growth owing to favourable economic conditions, infrastructure development, increased bids to host high-profile global events and government support to the private sector.
All these factors have contributed to the steady increase in tourist arrivals, which has facilitated the growth of the hospitality industry in the region, according to Alpen Capital managing director Sameena Ahmad.
Alpen Capital, in its GCC Hospitality industry report, estimates that the GCC hospitality market is anticipated to grow at an annual rate of 8.1 per cent to $28.3 billion by 2016, compared to $19.2bn in 2011.
Occupancy rates are expected to average around 67pc to 73pc between 2012 and 2016.
Saudi Arabia is expected to remain the largest GCC market in terms of revenues, followed by the UAE.
Qatar is expected to be one of the fastest growing markets, driven by rising business and leisure tourism as the country prepares for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and to achieve its 2030 national vision.
Driven by its macro-economic fundamentals, the GCC performed relatively better in the current economic crisis.
Government support helped tackle the economic turbulence and public sector spending on infrastructure has driven the region's economic growth
With the improvement in economic conditions, business and consumer sentiments are showing signs of revival.
This is likely to boost domestic and inter-regional tourism in the GCC, which will contribute significantly to tourist arrivals, the report says.
In addition, as economic conditions improve globally, international tourism is likely to increase from emerging and developed markets.
Tourist arrivals in the GCC are also increasing on emergence of the region as a preferred tourist hub due to varied offerings.
These range from shopping festivals to annual sporting events to conferences and exhibitions attracting both leisure and business travellers.
Demand for hotels is also likely to be driven by higher arrivals from Asian nations as travel spend is likely to grow at an impressive rate driven by rising income levels.
There is a growing domestic demand for hotels which is likely to be driven by rising income levels in the region and the fact that GCC per capita income is higher than most advanced economies, the report adds.
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