The World Travel and Tourism have presented new research that reveals the Travel and Tourism sector in the Middle East could generate US$246 billion this year, which means just 8.9 percent behind pre-pandemic levels.
In a press release issued on March 2, WTTC announced that before the pandemic’s outbreak, the Travel and Tourism sector in the Middle East region was booming, generating US$270 billion for the region’s economy, VisaGuide.World, reports.
In addition, during 2020, COVID-19 brought an almost complete halt to international travel, so its contribution was halved by 51.1 percent, thus having a brutal loss of more than US$138 billion.
According to the recent research from WTTC, this year, the sector’s contribution may reach pre-pandemic levels as the region continues to recover from the pandemic along with key markets that reopen borders and ease restrictions for travelers.
Such data also shows that if countries continue to implement the rhythm vaccination program, this year and restrictions on international travel are eased around the world, then about 6.8 million people could be employed in the sector by the end of 2022, which is only 40,000 behind the levels of the pandemic.
WTTC has also urged governments worldwide to continue vaccinating the population and to allow those fully vaccinated to move freely.
Similarly, the global tourism body urges governments in the Middle East and around the world to ease travel restrictions and enable international travel using digital solutions that allow travelers to prove their status in a fast, secure, and straightforward way.
Commenting on the report, the WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson has noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused serious damage to the tourism sector in the Middle East and a considerable loss, but that now is the time for genuine optimistic reasons.
“Since the start of the pandemic, governments across the Middle East have shown a real commitment to travel and tourism. Saudi Arabia, in particular, has shown strong leadership throughout the crisis and is making a major investment in Travel & Tourism. 2022 is poised for a strong recovery if governments across the region continue to open up their borders and remove restrictions to travel, which will have a massive positive effect on both the economy, the society, and jobs,” she pointed out in this regard.
In addition, another research by WTTC published on February 11 shows the UK’s recovery in the Tourism sector, predicting that the country’s GDP will grow to 192 billion, only 19 percent under the pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
WTTC claims that the sector could benefit from a net gain in jobs, increasing 1.7 percent to pre-pandemic levels, resulting in around 4.3 million people employed in Travel and Tourism by the end of the 2022, which means 70,000 more than in 2019.
Similarly, another analysis issued on February 9 shows that due to the tourism recovery if the US economy marks over $2 trillion in GDP contributions, it will exceed by more than six percent the levels registered in 2019.