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Business travel in MEA hits $23bn in 2022, could return to pre-pandemic levels next year – Report

Business travel in MEA hits $23bn in 2022, could return to pre-pandemic levels next year – Report
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Mubasher: The business travel spending across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is projected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, according to the Business Travel Index Outlook annual forecast and outlook 2022 from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Business travel spending amounted to $933 billion across the world in 2022, representing 65% of the $1.40 trillion business pre-pandemic travel spend. Meanwhile, the MEA region contributed $23 billion (2.5%) of the overall spending within the sector.

The region’s business travel industry is seen recovering more rapidly than in any other region, as the sector achieved 86% of its 2019 levels during 2022, outperforming the recovery in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe.

Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Danielle Curtis, said: “The business travel sector is a key component of the Middle East’s wider travel and tourism industry, and it is encouraging to see that it has bounced back so strongly since the pandemic.”

Curtis added: “The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) will present an in-depth analysis of how technology can support this return to travel and the ways in which this can be done sustainably in two education sessions with key insights from leading industry professionals.”

The ATM 2023 event will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) during 1-4 May, highlighting the strong performance of the business travel sector and future opportunities.

Curtis elaborated: “After the turbulent period we have experienced over the last two years, it will be very interesting to assess current market conditions and find out how business travel can continue to grow, particularly with the recent relaxation of travel restrictions in China.”

It is worth noting that Emirates is ATM 2023’s official airline partner, while IHG Hotels & Resorts serves as the official hotel partner and Al Rais Travel is the official DMC partner.