Regional tourism sector to grow by 27%, says WTTC

Regional tourism sector to grow by 27%, says WTTC

The global average growth rate is 30.7%

Recently released research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that the Middle Eastern travel and tourism sector should grow by 27.1% this year, slightly behind the global average of 30.7%. According to the WTTC, the recovery is slightly below what was expected as a result of slow vaccination rates in certain countries, coupled with international restrictions in key source markets.

While slower than expected, the region’s recovery rate is ahead of some major travel and tourism regions, including Europe and Latin America. The growth represents a year-on-year increase of $36 billion to the region’s economy. The data also reveals that the Middle East could see a similar year-on-year rise of 28.1% in 2022, representing a further boost of $47 billion.


While the local economy has benefited from a rise in domestic spending (38.6% this year, and a projected 19.2% in 2022), recent changes to international travel restrictions are expected to provide a significant boost in international spending, which is critical to the region’s economy.

Commenting on the findings, WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson said: “Our research clearly shows that while the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector is slowly beginning to recover, it’s still far from pre-pandemic levels in terms of the sector’s contribution to the region’s economy and employment.

“As we look into the future, the Middle East has strong growth potential following the reopening of its borders to international travellers. We have seen countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE implement policies to restart international travel safely and we hope to see a harmonised approach across the region.”

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