The travel market in Kuwait remains relatively small in comparison to other regional countries, although both inbound and outbound flows witnessed stronger growth in 2019 than in the previous year. The industry had suffered from the economic recession which impacted most GCC countries during the review period.
Offline sales continued to dominate retail value sales across travel categories in 2019. Nonetheless, in lodging and airlines online retail value sales are expected to continue to grow faster than offline sales over the forecast period.
Hotels in Kuwait underperformed in value sales in 2019, due to new openings creating price pressure. The average occupancy rate is reported to have rarely exceeded one half of capacity, although average daily room rates decreased.
Towards the end of the review period, the government dedicated more resources to tourism. A new terminal was completed at Kuwait International Airport in 2018 and there are plans for more expansions and a new airport.
The outlook for travel in Kuwait is improved for the forecast period, with lodging and airlines expected to post stronger current retail value CAGRs than those of the review period, while intermediaries online sales continue to register strong growth. As the economy is predicted to improve and inbound and outbound flows are set to accelerate, growing investments in the industry by the government and private players are likely to bear fruit.
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