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RIYADH: Research conducted by the World Travel and Tourism Council, or WTTC, has projected that the travel and tourism sector in the Middle East could reach $246 billion this year, just 8.9 percent behind pre-pandemic levels.
Before the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, the travel and tourism sector in the Middle East had witnessed massive growth, and in 2019, it was generating $270 billion in the region’s economy.
However, in 2020, due to strict Covid restrictions, the travel and tourism sector was impacted heavily, and the sector’s contribution dropped 51.1 percent by more than $138 billion.
“2022 is poised for a strong recovery if governments across the region continue to open up their borders and remove restrictions to travel which will have a massive positive effect on both the economy, society, and jobs,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC president and chief executive officer.
The report also noted that governments across the globe should continue focusing on the vaccine rollout and allowing fully vaccinated travelers to move freely to achieve pre-pandemic business levels.
According to the WTTC research, the sector is now on the path of revival as major markets have reopened borders and travel restrictions are getting eased.
The research study also noted that the sector’s contribution to employment could almost reach pre-pandemic levels this year.
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