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Arabian Travel Market Arabian Travel Market

Corporate Travel Spending in Middle East Set to Rise this Year by 32 Percent

Business travel expenditure in the Middle East is forecast to rise by 32 percent this year, following a predicted 49 percent increase during 2021, according to a report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) published in November 2021.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 09-12, said, “This positive data will provide a welcome boost for business travel and tourism professionals throughout the Middle East region, as economies around the world begin to relax travel restrictions, despite the disruption caused by the outbreak of the Omicron variant. During 2021, the increase in business spending for the full year is expected to have actually outpaced spending on leisure travel by 13 percent, 10 percent and one percent in the Middle East, Europe and Africa respectively.

According to Curtis, aviation experts speaking at ATM 2021 had expected business travel to lag behind leisure travel, although this estimated increase of 32 percent, comes on top of a predicted rise during 2021 of 49 percent which although 2020 was a challenging year, the business travel segment is now clearly accelerating towards pre pandemic levels.

In terms of business travel spending in 2021, the report ranks the Middle East region first with an increase of 49 percent, followed by Europe and Africa (36 percent), Asia Pacific (32 percent) and the Americas (14 percent). According to the report, the Asia Pacific region will lead the world in 2022 with growth in spending of 41 percent, followed by the Americas with a 35 percent increase, the Middle East 32 percent, Europe on 28 percent and Africa with a 23 percent rise.

The WTTC report was compiled in collaboration with McKinsey & Company called ‘Adapting to Endemic Covid-19: The Outlook for Business Travel’ and draws on research, analysis and in-depth interviews with travel and tourism business leaders to enable organisations to prepare for corporate travel in the post-pandemic era.

The report concluded, that the research showed room for optimism with Asia Pacific and the Middle East first off the starting blocks.