As global restrictions prevented all but essential domestic and international travel, 2020 tourism inflow fell by 74 percent
The Middle East North Africa (MENA) tourism sector is expected to rebound in the short to medium term to be worth $165 billion by 2025, four times its value in 2020, a new report by Redseer has forecast.
The report expects that as the UAE and other countries open their borders to foreign tourists over the next few months in line with upcoming events, this could lead to a significant upsurge in tourist inflow.
The travel and tourism industry was among the hardest hit in 2020 as global restrictions prevented all but essential domestic and international travel, which resulted in a drop of 74 percent in tourism inflow, this represented a fall in monetary terms of just under 70 percent to $46 billion in 2020, a sharp fall from 2019's $148bn.
The report suggested that the successful vaccination programs in the region as well as lockdown weary consumers would lead to a surge in those seeking to venture out and about. The report said in its consumer interactions, "consumers also expressed increased willingness for domestic travel. We already saw this play out as well last year when the number of internal tourists in the UAE more than doubled from May to October 2020, compared to the same period in the previous year."
The report also revealed that with key global sporting events in the region - notably Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup tournament - the region could expect to attract a lot of tourist inflow. In addition, policies are also becoming favorable towards tourism inflow. It cited the Saudi government's policy to promote tourism covering a wide array of investments, intended to significantly increase the contribution of tourism to economic output in the country, as a boon to the industry.