Corporate travel spend in Middle East to rise 32% in 2022
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Business travel expenditure in the Middle East is forecast to rise by 32% this year, following a predicted 49% increase during 2021, said organisers of the upcoming Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, citing a World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report. ATM will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 9-12.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME –ATM, said: “This positive data will provide a welcome boost for business travel and tourism professionals throughout the Middle East region, as economies around the world begin to relax travel restrictions, despite the disruption caused by the outbreak of the Omicron variant.”
“During 2021, the increase in business spending for the full year is expected to have actually outpaced spending on leisure travel by 13%, 10% and 1% in the Middle East, Europe and Africa respectively. Aviation experts speaking at ATM 2021, had expected business travel to lag behind leisure travel, but this estimated increase of 32%, comes on top of a predicted rise during 2021 of 49% which although 2020 was a challenging year, the business travel segment is now clearly accelerating towards pre pandemic levels,” added Curtis.
In terms of business travel spending in 2021, the report ranks the Middle East region first with an increase of 49%, followed by Europe and Africa (36%), Asia Pacific (32%) and the Americas (14%). According to the report, the Asia Pacific region will lead the world in 2022 with growth in spending of 41%, followed by the Americas with a 35% increase, the Middle East 32%, Europe on 28% and Africa with a 23% rise.
“Business travel will also be under the spotlight this year on the ATM Global Stage, where the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organisation, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), will discuss its latest business travel content and research, during two main sessions – ‘The future of business travel’ and ‘Building a sustainable business travel programme’,” said Curtis.
The WTTC report was compiled in collaboration with McKinsey & Company called ‘Adapting to Endemic Covid-19: The Outlook for Business Travel’ and draws on research, analysis and in-depth interviews with travel & tourism business leaders to enable organisations to prepare for corporate travel in the post-pandemic era.
The report concluded, ‘…our research shows room for optimism with Asia Pacific and the Middle East first off the starting blocks’.
Now in its 29th year and working in collaboration with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) – formerly the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) – ATM show highlights in 2022 will include, among others, destination summits focused on the key source markets of Saudi Arabia, Russia and India.
One new feature this year will be ATM Travel Tech. Previously called Travel Forward, the rebranded and revamped event will feature the ATM Travel Tech Stage hosting seminars, debates and presentations including pitches from finalists in the brand-new ATM Draper-Aladdin Start-up Competition.
The dedicated ARIVALDubai@ATM forum will cover current and future trends for tour operators and attractions, focusing on growing business through marketing, technology, distribution, thought leadership and executive-level connections.
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