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ME Spend on International Leisure Travel to Exceed Pre-COVID Levels by in 2024

According to a recent YouGov survey, commissioned by Reed Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2021, the amount of money that Middle East travellers spend on international leisure travel, will begin to exceed 2019 pre-COVID levels, in as little as three years. This is supported by forecast analysis carried out by Tourism Economics (TE).  

“This is very encouraging,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, ATM, which will take place in-person at the Dubai World Trade Centre May 16-19. “In 2019, spending on international leisure travel in the Middle East was significant, representing 47 percent of the total overall travel spend, compared with 37 percent spent on domestic leisure travel and eight percent each on international and domestic business travel.

Curtis added, “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 50 percent. 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 10 percent.”

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 global economic growth of 5,6 percent this year, the fastest economic recovery in 40 yea percent% of total GDP worldwide, highlighting its importance to the global economy.

In advanced economies, household savings rates have jumped from less than 10 percent of income prior to 2020, to a spike of 25 percent during lockdown, before dropping to just over 15 percent as restrictions were eased.