Amidst spearheading global travel recovery, the Middle East’s ambitious tourism goals come across as pragmatic rather than overly ambitious, backed by strategic capacity building efforts
A Report We’ve been Reading…Skift’s State of Travel report 2023 adds interesting insights into the Middle East’s travel sector. What we learned:
- Except aviation, the performance of all sectors – hotels, vacation rentals or car rentals – have surpassed 2019 levels in the Middle East.
- While international travel in most regions still lags 2019 levels, the Middle East is the only region to witness a complete recovery of international travel in the first quarter of 2023.
- United Arab Emirates was second among the fastest-growing destinations for international arrivals in 2022 after Austria. The country was also the most visited in the region last year with 22.7 million tourist arrivals, surpassing 2019 levels, followed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco.
Who’s Driving Tourism to the UAE?
- India was the top source market for UAE with 806,000 arrivals, which was 11% more than 2019.
- Russian arrivals ranked second, 47% more tourists than 2019.
- UK and Saudi Arabia ranked third and fourth.
- Travel search levels for UAE’s inbound flight and hotel search were much higher than 2019.
- With 66 million passengers, Dubai airport also ranked as the fifth most-busiest airport in the world even as the numbers were much below 2019’s 86 million.
- Dubai-Riyadh was also the fourth busiest international route last month.