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Created by Connecting Travel in association with Deloitte, the report gives comprehensive insight into the future of travel and hospitality in the GCC

From today, the first edition of Connecting Travel’s Insight Report, created in a partnership with Deloitte, is available free to download.

The 48-page Insight Report lays out the government-mapped visions and tourism goals of the GCC countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The report also outlines strategies for aviation recovery, the challenges to sustainability and the key travel trends impacting the region. In particular, taking a deep dive into the emerging markets of cruise and wellness.

Insight Report Highlights
The report shows how the GCC’s cruise industry is primed for growth with the development of several new cruise terminals. Qatar’s new terminal alone is expected to bring in more than 300,000 cruise passengers a year, while the UAE’s new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal can process more than 3,250 passengers an hour, adding to the existing options for entry, which includes Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, the largest single covered cruise terminal in the world, capable of handling 14,000 passengers daily.

Testament to the market potential for growth, Saudi Arabia’s cruise passenger numbers grew from around 4,000 in 2020 to more than 20,000 in 2021

The report also shows that there is a significant gap in the GCC market for dedicated health and wellness resort concepts. In the MENA region, 6.9 million wellness trips were recorded in 2020.

While the pandemic had a significant impact, as witnessed in the decrease in 2020 figures, both wellness trips and tourist expenditures look set to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2025. Workcations, work retreats and wellness sabbaticals are three of the new travel models in the post-pandemic world.

Visit the Connecting Travel Cruise Hub for all the latest Middle East cruise news

Launching the Insight Report
Marking the first anniversary of Connecting Travel, the release of the Insight Report took place at Hyde Hotel Dubai. Well attended by senior travel and hospitality industry professionals, the event centred on a keynote speech from Deloitte Middle East partner Hassan Malik, followed by a thought leaders panel discussion moderated by Travolution editor and new Connecting Travel tech columnist Lee Hayhurst.

Panellists included John Bevan, divisional senior vice president of Dnata Travel; Hoor Al Khaja, associate vice president of International Operations for the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, and Tarique Khatri, executive vice president of Centre of Excellence for Seera Group.

Connecting Travel is part of Jacobs Media Group (JMG). JMG is led by UAE-based chairman and CEO Clive Jacobs. A serial entrepreneur and investor, his businesses have consistently challenged and disrupted established practices.

JMG is headquartered in the UK, where Connecting Travel’s sister title, Travel Weekly, is the UK’s market leader. Travel Weekly and Deloitte have enjoyed a long-standing partnership, creating Insight Reports to inform and guide the travel trade in the UK and the Connecting Travel Insight Report intends to do the same for the Middle East travel trade, drawing on findings from its leading team of business reporters and the expertise of Deloitte.

For your free copy of the Connecting Travel Insight Report, click 

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