According to Business Travel Index™ Outlook annual forecast and outlook (2022), the business travel segment in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is recovering more rapidly than in any other region. MEA business travel achieved 86 percent of its 2019 levels during 2022, outperforming the recovery in Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.
According to the forecast, business travel spending reached USD 933 billion globally in 2022, 65 percent of the USD 1.4 trillion business pre-pandemic travel spend, with the MEA region accounting for USD 23 billion or approximately 2.5 percent of overall spending within the sector.
“The MEA region is an important growth market for business travel and benefitted from a prompt Covid-19 vaccination roll-out in key markets such as the UAE and Israel, as well as increased economic activity driven by the rising price of crude oil to accelerate the business travel recovery. The region is expected to return to pre-pandemic business travel spend by 2024 and continue its growth trajectory,” said Catherine Logan, regional vice president for EMEA and APAC at GBTA.
Aside from restricted travel, an increase in remote working globally has had a dampening effect on business travel growth. However, now that travel is almost restriction free, employees have revealed an increased likelihood to travel more for work, whether long-term or overnight business trips, according to the latest business travel outlook poll from GBTA.