Kuwait ranks third in Gulf tourist spending in the UK

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 3: As per data from “VisitBritain,” the UAE holds the 19th position in terms of the largest sources of the tourism market in Britain. However, it ranks tenth in importance due to the substantial spending by its visitors, despite having a relatively small population.

VisitBritain forecasts Kuwaiti surge in UK tourism spending.

The statistics reveal that London’s appeal for shopping has diminished following the elimination of the tax-free shopping system in January 2021. While the government anticipates a revenue boost of around £2 billion by scrapping the system, critics argue that the benefits have been overstated and point to a loss of approximately two million visitors to the country.

Global Blue data indicates a significant increase of 101 percent in spending by American visitors to the United Kingdom in 2022 compared to 2019 levels. In contrast, British sales to visitors from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia constituted only 65 percent of their 2019 levels. Kuwaitis, as reported by National, spent £305 million during their stay in the United Kingdom in 2022, ranking third in spending among Gulf tourists after Emiratis and Saudis. It’s worth noting that the peak of Kuwaitis’ spending on tourism in Britain was in 2017 when they spent £575 million.

“VisitBritain” forecasts a return to 2019 spending levels by visitors from Gulf countries in Britain and expects an exceeding of those levels by 2025. The organization collaborates with the tourism market to enhance the number of Gulf visitors. Additionally, initiatives like the electronic travel licensing plan, costing £10 and allowing multiple visits to Britain over a two-year period, are expected to encourage more tourists. While Qatar was the first Gulf country to adopt the plan, starting February 1, 2024, citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan will also have access to this program.

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