A senior official at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) has revealed that the tourism industry in the Middle East has witnessed a significant recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN official highlighted the increasing number of archaeological tourists visiting Egypt and Jordan, which has played a vital role in boosting the tourism recovery in the region.
During the International Tourism Exhibition (Vitor 2024) held in Madrid, the Regional Director for the Middle East at the United Nations Tourism Organization, Basma Al-Maiman, said that several countries in the region recorded a record recovery in 2023, adding that this trend is expected to continue until 2024.
She noted that the Middle East region saw the strongest performance among global regions, recording a growth of 122 percent, and was the first region in the world to recover from pre-pandemic numbers in the first nine months of last year. "It was also the only region to exceed 2019 levels in 2023," the UN official said.
Al-Maiman attributed this recovery to various factors, including facilitating visa processes, developing new destinations, investing in tourism-related projects, and ensuring regional security and economic stability. The Middle East region also hosted major events such as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), and Expo Dubai in the UAE.