According to Rategain, an Indian travel technology company, the Middle East is predicted to recover faster from the recent decline in travel demand than any other travel market in the April-June quarter.
According to Rategain’s latest Pulse report, international arrivals to the region will increase by 15% this summer, compared to the all-time high in 2019.
According to the travel tech company, the region’s recovery has been significantly influenced by its ability to adapt and innovate to changing circumstances.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the nations that has responded quickly in changing its policies. In particular, the UAE has made significant progress in expanding its tourism sector. For instance, it now permits entry to sanctioned Russian tourists to enter the country and signed the Abraham Agreement in September 2020, which led to the opening of borders with Israel.
In January, Russia overtook China as Dubai’s second largest source market for tourists. There were 115,000 more Russian tourists in Dubai compared to 2022. The fastest growing source market for tourists in Dubai is currently Israel. In the first two months of the year, the emirate has already received about 85,000 Israeli tourists.
In addition, Turkey has shown flexibility in welcoming Russian visitors to its ports. In the first two months of 2023, more than 500,000 Russians traveled to Turkey, an increase of more than 100% compared to the same period in 2022, when Turkey hosted 246,000 Russian tourists.
In the first two months of this year, this increase in Russian tourism accounted for 13% of total foreign visitor arrivals in Turkey.
According to Bhanu Chopra, founder of Rategain, a political shift in the Middle East in recent years has helped it become a center of activity and a major travel driver in the post-pandemic world.
Business Travel Spending
Rategain’s analysis demonstrates how corporate travel to the Middle East and Africa area is still on the rise using information from its recently acquired travel intent analytics platform Adara.
“In the upcoming quarter, we estimate that the Middle East and Africa region will maintain its growth pattern and exceed business travel spending levels seen before the pandemic,” the report noted.
According to Rategain, the growth is reflected in rising airfares from Asia-Pacific to Dubai and significantly higher average daily rates for hotel bookings in Egypt and Saudi Arabia compared to last year, which was fueled by the demand during Ramadan.
Turkey’s Tourism Rise
Turkey ranked as the top leisure location with the most bookings for the following quarter, while the United Arab Emirates leads the list for business arrivals.
According to the study, foreign arrivals in Turkey are expected to increase by 40-50% compared to the same period last year, which is well ahead of the upturn in international tourism.