According to data collated by Thomson Reuters in late 2014, family tourism accounted for 12.5 per cent of the global tourism market in 2013 and was valued at US$140 billion. That number is predicted to increase to more than $180 billion by 2018, with 4.79 per cent annual growth until 2020.
The GCC is a large driving force for that growth, across a host of global destinations. Of all the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia proves to be the top source market, according to a report published by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). In 2012, Saudi families accounted for US$17.1 billion in spending, followed closely by the UAE and Kuwait with spends of $10.1 billion and $7.4 billion respectively.
When you consider that overall tourism growth is only expected to grow by 3.8 per cent overall, it is evident that family-centric travel is to become one of the most important tourism industries – and the biggest names in luxury travel are acting accordingly.
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