According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Middle East travel and tourism sector is predicted to boost by about 27% this year, trailing the worldwide average of about 31%, after falling by 51% in 2020 (WTTC).
Slow vaccination rates in certain nations, as well as limitations in important foreign source markets, have deterred people from visiting the region, stifling the region’s recovery, per the WTTC.
Following a loss of around 1.2 million travel and tourism jobs last year as a result of Covid-19 travel restrictions that halted international movement, employment in the Middle East is expected to increase by 1% in 2021 as per the council.
However, employment might grow at an annual rate of 8.2% in 2022, adding 470,000 new travel and tourism jobs to the sector’s total of 6.2 million workers.
“Our study demonstrates that, while the Middle East travel and tourism sector is progressively recovering, it is still far from pre-pandemic levels in terms of the sector’s contribution to the region’s economy and jobs,” WTTC President and Chief Executive Julia Simpson stated.
“With the opened of its borders to foreign travellers, the Middle East has significant development potential in the future, countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE have implemented rules to reintroduce secure international travel, and we hope to see a unified strategy across the region”.
According to the council, governments could save about 19 million jobs by loosening travel restrictions and allowing travellers to produce digital confirmation of immunisation and testing before the end of 2021.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Middle East’s Travel and Tourism Sector contributed $270 billion to economics (8.9 of total production), according to the council.
The Middle East’s predicted growth is higher than that of other areas such as Europe and Latin America and represents a $36 billion rise in the region’s GDP year on year stated by WTTC.
According to the report, the Middle East may witness a year-on-year gain of 28% in 2022, representing a $47 billion boost.
While domestic expenditure increased by 38.6% this year and is forecast to climb by 19% in 2022, recent modifications to international travel restrictions are likely to offer a considerable boost to international spending which is crucial to the region’s economy, according to the WTTC.