Our "Tourism Source Market Insights: Gulf Cooperation Council", provides a thorough insight into Bahrain’s, Kuwait’s, Oman’s, the UAE’s, Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s domestic and outbound tourism industry. The report shades light into the profiles of GCC tourists and summarizes the key reasons why they travel. The report offers an in-depth analysis of traveler flows, spending patterns, main destination markets and current and future opportunities for tourism businesses seeking to tap into the lucrative GCC outbound travel market.

The GCC is made up of some of the wealthiest nations in the Middle East. However, the decline in global oil prices in recent years has resulted in sluggish growth for the highly oil-dependent member states. Despite the slight decline in their economic performance, GCC travelers remain among the biggest spenders globally, presenting a lucrative cohort for businesses.

In particular, the GCC countries make up only 12.6% of the total population of the Middle East. Yet, they comprise 64.2% of the total international departures from the region. This highlights the importance and great potential of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula as a source market for the global tourism industry. The outbound tourism boom is driven both by the emergence of the middle class as well as by the growth in the traditional luxury GCC travel segment.


  • Saudi Arabia is the largest outbound market in the GCC, while Qataris are the biggest spenders in the world.
  • Domestic tourism in the GCC countries is expected to grow as countries diversify their product offering.
  • Outbound tourism flows are set to rise, although intra-regional travel dominates international travel. Saudi Arabia is the most visited country in the GCC.
  • Leisure is the key purpose for traveling abroad with activities such as shopping, visiting theme parks, and relaxing in seaside resorts being particularly popular.
  • VFR travel is particularly common given the high number of expats residing in the Gulf states. Religious tourism is also a key facilitator of traveler flows in the region.

Reasons To Buy

  • This report provides clear insight into developments in the GCC’s domestic and outbound tourist markets.
  • The report uses data and analysis to discuss future trends related to domestic trips, international departures, traveler spending, and main destination markets.
  • Moreover, the report explores the different profiles of GCC tourists and the reasons why they travel, hence providing an insight into the trends in different segments of the market.
  • The reader gains a strong understanding of the opportunities in the country, as well as the risks, to support better business decisions.