It seems like the world is travelling to the Middle East, be it for business or leisure.

‘GCC to welcome 2.5 million Chinese visitors by 2021’; ‘Russian visitors to GCC to increase 38 per cent by 2020’; ‘Saudi hospitality sector to grow 13.5 per cent per annum to 2022’; ‘UAE and KSA continue to lead GCC luxury hospitality market’; ‘Oman tourist arrivals to increase CAGR 13 per cent to 2021’; ‘European visitors to GCC to increase 17 per cent by 2020’; ‘Middle East airline passenger numbers projected to climb 7 per cent in 2018’; ‘Indian outbound market to GCC expected to increase 50 per cent by 2021’. Travel and Tourism in the Middle East is rocking.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in its annual research titled ‘The Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism’ published in March 2018 has some very interesting findings pertaining to the Middle East market:

The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was $224.2 billion (8.9 per cent of GDP) in 2017, and is forecast to rise by 4.3 per cent in 2018, and by 4.6 per cent pa to $365.7 billion (9.7 per cent of GDP) in 2028.
In 2017, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, was 7.4 per cent of total employment (55,28,000 jobs). This is expected to rise by 3.1 per cent in 2018 to 57,01,500 jobs and by 2.4 per cent pa to 72,15,000 jobs in 2028 (7.6 per cent of total).

Travel & Tourism investment in 2017 was $44.2 billion or 7.4 per cent of total investment. It should rise by 5.4 per cent in 2018, and by 6.2 per cent pa over the next 10 years to $85.1 billion in 2028 (9.9 per cent of total).

Business travel spending is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2018 to $35.4 billion and by 5.1 per cent pa to $58.2 billion in 2028. Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 4.6 per cent in 2018 to $133.4 billion, and by 4.3 per cent pa to $202.6 billion in 2028.

When it comes to Travel and Tourism’s contribution to GDP, the Middle East is performing above even North America. In Travel and Tourism investment, the region outpaces most regional markets of the world. And in visitor exports, the Middle East is one among the top five regions globally.

It is under such very exciting times that the Silver Jubilee edition of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is taking place. Destination Reporter will be in Dubai to bring you all the action.

On the cover is Puducherry, where French and Tamil cultures mingle to create a unique setting for its famous mustard colour buildings, Auroville township and pristine beaches. And in our international destination focus, we introduce you to lesser-known provinces in Thailand – Chonburi, Rayong and Chanthaburi. Enjoy.

See you at ATM Dubai 2018.

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Categories: Editor's Note