Middle Eastern Destinations Lead Global Travel Recovery
The Middle East is leading international travel recovery in the fourth quarter as inbound arrivals to the region witnessed an increase of 4 percent, long ahead of the global average of a decrease of 30 percent, according to travel analytics firm ForwardKeys. “The FIFA World Cup is certainly the key driver for its travel recovery,” said Juan Gomez, head of market intelligence at ForwardKeys. The latest air ticketing data by ForwardKeys also shows that international arrival levels may be back to normal in 2023, with travel to the Middle East up by 15 percent on pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter. Overall, the outlook for 2023 looks promising, despite high inflation in key source markets and the looming recession, FowardKeys noted. The Middle East is also attracting more premium travellers than in 2019, the travel analytics firm noted with Saudi Arabia showing the greatest growth. Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon are also showing growth, with a regional average of 11 percent above 2019.