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Middle East - Region's tourism sector to generate $220 billion by year 2015

The Middle East travel and tourism sector is expected to generate $220 billion of economic activity by 2015, according to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). While demand grew by 4.8 percent in 2005, it is expected to further go up by 4.4 percent per annum "in real terms" between 2006 and 2015, said the reports, published in the Emirates Today daily.

The total demand for 2005 in the Middle East, however, represents 2.1 percent of world market share, it said.

The global travel and tourism demand is expected to generate business worth $10.678.5 billion by 2015. The average annualized gain across the world is expected to be 4.6 percent between 2005 and 2015, compared to the 4.4 percent the Middle East is expected to post in the same years.

Capital investment in the travel and tourism sector in the Middle East is estimated at $19.7 billion, or 10.4 percent of total investment in 2005. This is expected to touch $33.9 billion, or 10.9 percent of the total investments, by 2015.

By 2015, spending in the sector worldwide should increase to $417.4 billion, which is 4.1 percent of total government expenditure, says the report.

The same figure for the Middle East is forecast at $6.8 billion, or 2.3 percent of total government spending.

The travel and tourism sector's share of exports from the Middle East is expected to generate $85.4 billion, or 13 percent of total exports, in 2015.

According to the WTTC report, while there are 74.2 million jobs in the industry today, the number is expected to rise to 85.5 million in the next 10 years.

Amman,01 09 2006
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