Gen X driving GCC outbound travel

Gen X driving GCC outbound travel

People born between 1965 and 1980 are at forefront of growth in tourism sector, according to Research Nester

According to new research by New York-headquartered Research Nester, the GCC’s outbound travel market is forecast to grow exponentially over the next five years, driven by the increase of Gen X travellers.

The report highlights why this generation has a dominant share of the GCC’s outbound market, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the report, Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition director Danielle Curtis said: “Within an age range of 43 to 58, many Gen Xers hold senior positions within companies and as such tend to travel overseas regularly on business. In addition, successful professionals at this stage in their careers have built significant wealth and can afford to travel frequently.  

“Many industry commentators are focused on Millennial and Gen Z travellers, but it's perfectly logical that Gen X would dominate the GCC outbound market value given the region’s demographics, particularly among expatriate senior management.”  

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Members of Gen X are also changing their lifestyles, with considerable numbers now looking for a more sustainable work/life balance. This often means spending more leisure time with their families, including on holidays, and combining business with leisure, accounting for significant growth in the bleisure segment.

Gen X will be responsible for US$11.1 billion of the outbound market value, 41% of Saudi Arabia’s total outbound market value of US$27 billion, by 2028, according to the report. It is a similar picture in the UAE. Gen X will spend US$18.2 billion, 60% of the total market value of US$30.5 billion by 2028.

“It's also worth considering that as this generation begins to age and subsequently retire, naturally it will be Millennials who will begin to dominate outbound market share in the decade ahead,” added Curtis. 

To support the GCC's outbound sector, ATM is organising a market insights summit, covering India, China and Latin America, as well as the latest generational travel trends.

More than 40,000 travel trade professionals, including 30,000 visitors, attended the 30th edition of ATM in May 2023, setting a new show record. This year’s edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) will take place from 6 to 9 May 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

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