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Travel & Tourism GDP set to outstrip the overall economy for the next

10 years.

LONDON, UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council's latest Economic Impact

Report (EIR) reveals the Travel & Tourism sector in the Middle East is

expected to create nearly 3.6 million new jobs over the next decade.

The forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC [1]), which

shows an average of 360,000 new jobs every year, also reveals the sector

will lead the region's economic recovery, with its average annual growth

set to outpace the overall economy for the next 10 years.

According to the report, Travel & Tourism's GDP is forecasted to grow

at an average rate of 7.7% annually between 2022-2032, three times the

2.5% growth rate for region's overall economy, to reach nearly US$ 540

billion (10.1% of the total economy).

The sector's contribution to GDP is expected to grow more than 36% to

over US$ 256 billion by the end of 2022, amounting to 6.5% of the total

economic GDP, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 8.7% this

year to reach over six million jobs.

The global tourism body's annual report also shows further optimism for

the region's Travel & Tourism GDP, which could almost reach pre-pandemic

levels by 2023 - just 2.5% below 2019 levels.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: "After a very difficult

couple of years, the future is looking brighter with Travel & Tourism

expected to create 3.6 million new jobs across the Middle East over the

next decade.

"Looking to this year and the next, the outlook is more positive with

both GDP and employment set to almost reach pre-pandemic levels.

"The recovery of the sector in the Middle East last year was certainly

slower than expected, due in part to the impact of the Omicron variant."

Before the pandemic, the Travel & Tourism sector's contribution to GDP

was 8.4% (U.S.$323.6 billion) in 2019, falling to just 4.5% (U.S.$162.6

billion) in 2020, which represented a staggering 49.8% loss.

The sector also supported 6.9 million jobs across the region in 2019.

WTTC's latest EIR report also reveals that 2021 saw the beginning of the

recovery for the region's Travel & Tourism sector.

Last year, its contribution to GDP climbed 15.9% year on year, to reach

US$188.5 billion.

The sector also saw a recovery of more than 390,000 Travel & Tourism

jobs, representing a positive 7.6% rise to reach 5.6 million.

The sector's contribution to the economy and employment could have been

higher if it weren't for the impact of the Omicron variant, which led to

the recovery faltering around the world, with many countries reinstating

severe travel restrictions.

Since the start of the pandemic, governments across the Middle East

have shown total commitment to Travel & Tourism.

Saudi Arabia in particular, has shown great leadership throughout the

crisis, pushing for greater regional and global coordination, and making

a major investment in Travel & Tourism not only in the country but

around the world. The global tourism body believes this support and

commitment will speed up the recovery of a sector which is critical to

economies and livelihoods around the world.


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