Middle Eastern tourism is rebounding thanks to Saudi Arabia.

Based on a recent research by HSBC Global Research, Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry has recovered well, with visitor numbers almost back to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2023.
According to the report, the tourist sector in the Middle East has recovered well from the pandemic’s effects. During the first half of the year, there was a notable resurgence in visitor arrivals to the area, with a 15 percent gain above 2019 estimates.

Europe came in second, having recovered to 90% of its pre-pandemic levels of tourism.

The research highlighted the importance of tourism to the Middle East, which accounts for the largest percentage of GDP (5 percent), suggesting opportunities for the area in the next year as the recovery continues.

In the same quarter, Turkey had significant tourist inflows in addition to Saudi Arabia. The report also highlighted Asia Pacific’s impressive results, with tourism accounting for more than 4% of the GDP in the area.

As the first area in the globe to reach pre-pandemic levels, the Middle East witnessed the best comeback in terms of tourist performance, according to the report’s author, Maitreyi Das, an economist at HSBC Securities and Capital Markets.

As far as tourist arrivals go, the top destinations in the world for the first quarter of 2023 are Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Turkiye is ranked fourth internationally in terms of tourist revenues (+104 percent), according to Das.

In reference to views, Das also said that forty percent of respondents think the Middle East’s tourist industry has already recovered, and twenty percent think it will by the end of 2023.

The study also projects a significant increase in out-of-country tourism expenditures from Asian nations over the next ten years, mostly due to the fast growth of the middle-class consumer base. It is projected that mainland China’s tourist spending would increase from $100 billion in 2022–2030 to $175 billion in 2030–2040.

The research also notes a notable rise in the quantity of flights, both domestic and international, departing from Mainland China over the previous quarter, along with an increasing number of wide-bodied aircraft being deployed.

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