Tourism in Kuwait is on the verge of a positive trend following, the country’s US$13 billion investment in its transport infrastructure. This is driving its tourism sector, according to government officials.
Elaborating Khaled Al Ghanim, deputy chairman and MD, Kuwait Tourism Co said: “In addition to government projects, we are planning to launch a range of entertainment, sports and tourism projects valued at up to US$460 million, boosting Kuwait’s regional status.”
Recognising Kuwait’s potential, Alpen Capital reported growth in CAGR for the hospitality sector at 8.1% over the period 2011–16. Alpen’s October 2012 GCC Hospitality Industry Report, estimates 2012-13 GDP growth of 3-5% and a strong business travel base. The development of Kuwait’s existing leisure and business infrastructure is also set to drive new inbound business, with steady tourism growth over the last decade, leading to an increase in international tourist arrivals of 13% for the period 2001-2011, and tourism receipts of US$5.3 billion in 2011.
By 2015, Kuwait hopes to welcome one million tourist arrivals per annum. These issues are being discussed and debated by Reed Travel Exhibitions along with industry leaders as part of its annual GCC and Levant road show series. The road show will visit eight destinations over a two-week period, with similar sessions taking place in Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman and UAE.
“Kuwait is now midway through its five-year tourism plan, which has leisure sector growth as its primary focus. This is supported in the mid to long term by an investment of US$6 billion to expand the capital’s airport, with a second terminal by 2016, and a new US$7 billion metro system which will be operational by 2020,” said Mark Walsh, portfolio director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
“Tourist arrivals are also expected to increase at a CAGR of 4.9% between 2012 and 2022. Kuwait has the highest proportion of budget hotels in the region (around 22%) and the potential to capture a broad international target audience offers exciting prospects for leisure project developers looking at opportunities in and around Kuwait City,” he added.