It could take as long as three years for tourism spends in the Middle East to recover levels seen in 2019 according to new research.
That is according to a recent YouGov survey, commissioned by Reed Exhibitions, the organizer of Arabian Travel Market.
The work is supported by forecast analysis carried out by Tourism Economics (TE).
According to research by TE and its parent company Oxford Economics, the vaccine rollout, pent-up demand supported by high consumer savings, employment recovery, and travel restrictions, will motivate the return to the global economic growth of 5.6 percent this year.
The total contribution of the travel and tourism industry in 2019 accounted for ten percent of the total GDP worldwide, highlighting its importance to the global economy.
“This is very encouraging,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, which will take place in person at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 16th-19th.
“In 2020, spending on international leisure travel was only 20 percent of the amount spent a year earlier.
“However, this year, spending compared with 2019, will recover to around half.
“It will increase to 75 percent in 2022 and 95 percent in 2023, until 2024, when spending in this segment will exceed pre-COVID levels by up to ten percent,” added Curtis.
In advanced economies, household savings rates have jumped from less than ten percent of income before 2020, to a spike of 25 percent during the lockdown, before dropping to just over 15 percent as restrictions were eased.
In terms of vaccine rollout, although distribution may be uneven and therefore inhibit some destinations from welcoming tourists, many popular leisure destinations such as the UAE, US, UK, Israel, Spain, and Turkey aim to have up to 70 percent of their populations vaccinated before the end of 2021.
Other measures will be necessary and are likely to be introduced in many destinations to facilitate travel recovery, such as more widespread testing.