Region's recovery is outperforming that in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe
Business travel in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is recovering more rapidly than in any other region, according to the most recent Business Travel Index Outlook annual forecast and outlook from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
MEA business travel achieved 86% of its 2019 levels during 2022, outperforming recovery in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, and the region is expected to return to pre-pandemic business travel spend by 2024 and continue its growth trajectory.
The sector’s strong performance and future opportunities will be a point of focus during Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 1 to 4 May this year.
Commenting on the findings, Arabian Travel Market exhibition director ME Danielle Curtis said: “The business travel sector is a key component of the Middle East’s wider travel and tourism industry, and it's encouraging to see that it has bounced back so strongly since the pandemic.
"The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) will present an in-depth analysis of how technology can support this return to travel and the ways in which this can be done sustainably in two education sessions with key insights from leading industry professionals.”
According to the forecast, business travel spending reached US$933 billion globally in 2022, 65% of the US$1.4 trillion pre-pandemic business travel spend, with the MEA region accounting for US$23 billion or approximately 2.5% of overall spending within the sector.
GBTA regional vice president EMEA & APAC Catherine Logan added: “The MEA region is an important growth market for business travel and it benefitted from a prompt Covid-19 vaccination roll-out in key markets, such as the UAE and Israel, as well as increased economic activity driven by the rising price of crude oil to accelerate the business travel recovery."
ATM 2023 is being held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre and its media partners include Connecting Travel and Jacobs Media Group.