It’s not only the GCC’s most influential states that have been investing heavily into their economies- this small GCC country has cashed in to polish up their tourism industry. Kuwait’s government announced a five-year development plan for its tourism industry back in 2011, and hopes to turn the country into a popular location for leisure, given that most of its travelers come in for business. Since then, Kuwait has literally been shelling out billions of dollars to fortify its tourism sector. One of its major projects is the construction of a massive new terminal at the Kuwait International Airport. By 2016, annual capacity will skyrocket from six million to 13 million, and then up to 25 million by 2025- not surprising given that the contract is worth US$4.8 billion. Kuwaiti airliner Jazeera Airways is facing increased passenger movements, reporting a 22% “year-on-year increase,” and citing 32% growth in trips to Istanbul, Beirut and Amman, as well as 20% growth in flights across the GCC. And finally, Kuwait (like the UAE) will be putting out its own metro railway system. Kuwait’s metro is part of the Kuwait National Rail Road System project, which will be a 511-kilometer network. Kuwait will be showcasing these major projects and more at the 2015 Arabian Travel Market in Dubai from May 4-6.
And in other GCC travel news, Oman’s Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with Oman Air to promote the Sultanate’s touristic attractions and sites with a roadshow in Saudi Arabia, focusing on its natural and historical sites, and networking with the Kingdom’s local travel agencies. With Oman’s sizeable natural attractions, eco-tourism could be one avenue to invest in more heavily- there’s a niche for entrepreneurs to get in before it really picks up.