Blog / BBG Event with Visit Britain Round Up

BBG Event with Visit Britain Round Up

The travel and tourism focus events of the British Business Group have always been an interesting and socially interactive way to get the latest industry insights. The new BBG Chairperson of the events for 2014 is Karen Osman and the first event kicked off last month on 4th February, showcasing the latest trends on travel and tourism from the GCC to the UK. Presented by Mark McFee from Visit Britain UK, the information captured the significance of the GCC market to the UK. With 256,000 visits to the destination from the UAE with a £467 million spend in 2013, it is evident that the UK remains an important tourism destination for the region.

Highlights of the presentation included:

• London proved to be the place of choice with an estimated 50% of travellers choosing to visit over other parts of the country. One of the main attractions is the tax-free shopping, with males specifically mentioning automotive brands.

• Out of all GCC countries, Kuwait is number one when it comes to average spend at GBP 4,136 per visit.

• It’s perhaps no surprise that July-September is the peak travel period with travellers looking to escape the heat to enjoy the cooler British summer.

• Until recently all UAE Nationals required a visa, now electronic visa waivers are available to passport holders of the UAE.

• UAE visitors may not take the initiative in planning activities during their stay and prefer family-orientated entertainment.

• They rely heavily on trade for booking trips compared with the average market.

• The UAE is a tech-friendly market with high internet and smartphone penetration rates and rapidly growing online travel bookings.

• For travellers from the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, the UK was the top destination in 2012 after other GCC countries.

The next BBG Travel and Tourism event, hosted by Karen Osman, will be held on 18th April. Log on to to learn more.

Karen Osman
Karen Osman
Originally from England, Karen has lived the ex-pat life for the last 15 years across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. After completing a B.A. in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Durham, a two year period teaching in Tokyo was the start of a career that combined her two great loves; travel and the English language. Moving to Dubai in 2004, Karen engaged in a sales, marketing and public relations role for a luxury hospitality company. It was a great opportunity to develop communication for luxury brands, gaining experience in writing and adapting copy for both off-line and on-line channels. After identifying a gap in the market for specialised writing services for the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, Karen set up Travel Ink in 2011, steadily building the business to include some of the most high-profile hotels, airlines and tourism establishments in the region. In addition to her role as Managing Director, Karen is also the Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group and a committee member of Business Network International.

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