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, Arabian Travel Market, which will take place in-person at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) 16-19 May 2021.
“In 2019, spending on international leisure travel in the Middle East was significant, representing 47% of the total overall travel spend, compared with 37% spent on domestic leisure travel and 8% each on international and domestic business travel.
“In 2020, spending on international leisure travel was only 20% of the amount spent a year earlier. However, this year, spending compared with 2019, will recover to around 50%. It will increase to 75% in 2022 and 95% in 2023, until 2024, when spending in this segment will exceed pre-COVID levels by up to 10%,” added Curtis.
“Leisure travel will lead the recovery, initially through domestic and short-haul travel, which peaked by as much as 85% of all overnight arrivals in the Middle East during 2020. This will gradually return to normal over the next four years at around 70%, as international travel becomes more popular and takes greater market share,” said Curtis.