The World Travel & Tourism Council’s recent Economic Impact Report (EIR) has revealed that the Travel and Tourism sector in the Middle East would create close to 3.6 million new jobs over the next decade.

The WTTC estimates that an average of 360,000 new jobs are created in the tourism sector each year in this region. The same reveals that the sector will lead the region’s economic recovery, with an average annual growth set to exceed the overall economy for the next ten years, VisaGuide.World reports.

“According to the report, Travel & Tourism’s GDP is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 7.7 percent annually between 2022-2032, three times the 2.5 percent growth rate for the region’s overall economy, to reach nearly US$ 540 billion (10.1 percent of the total economy),” the statement issued by the WTTC also reveals.

The WTTC also announced that by the end of 2022, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow by more than 36 percent to over $256 billion, reaching 6.5 percent of the total economic GDP.

In addition, employment in the sector is expected to grow to 8.7 percent this year and reach over six million jobs.

The annual report of the global tourism organization also shows further optimism in the region’s GDP of Travel and Tourism, as, by 2023, it may reach pre-pandemic levels or only 2.5 percent below 2019 levels.

“After a very difficult couple of years, the future’s 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,” WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson pointed out in this regard.

According to Simpson, last year, due to the spread of the Omicron virus variant, the recovery of the sector in the Middle East was slower.

Before the pandemic started, the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 8.4 percent, or $323.6 billion in 2019. However, in 2020, the contribution fell by 4.5 percent or the US $162.6 billion, representing a staggering loss of 49.8 percent.

Moreover, in 2019 the sector also supported around 6.9 million jobs across the region.

Based on the latest EIR report, it is revealed that 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for the Travel and Tourism sector of the region, as its contribution last year increased by 15.9 percent year-on-year, reaching $188.5 billion.

The Travel and Tourism sector also saw a recovery of more than 390,000 jobs, representing a positive increase of 7.6 percent in order to reach 5.6 million.

Since the pandemic began, governments across the Middle East have shown total support and commitment to Travel and Tourism. Throughout this crisis, the authorities in Saudi Arabia have, in particular, pushed for greater regional and global coordination and, at the same time, made a major investment in Travel and Tourism worldwide.

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