ForwardKeys predicts 36 pc rise in international arrivals into MENA in June-August 2023

Saudi Arabia, Qatar & Algeria to surpass 2019 levels
/ New Delhi
ForwardKeys predicts 36 pc rise in international arrivals into MENA in June-August 2023

Forecasts from ForwardKeys for the coming summer season in the MENA region predict a strong increase

Ahead of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) that opens in Dubai on Monday, travel analytics firm ForwardKeys has released report on forecast for the coming summer season for MENA region, predicting a strong growth.
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Just a day before the Dubai World Trade Centre opens doors to the 30th anniversary edition of the Arabian Travel Market, a report by travel analytics firm ForwardKeys has predicted a strong 36 pc increase in international arrivals into the MENA region in this summer season, from June–August this year versus the same period in 2022.

According to a press statement issued by Forwardkeys, several destinations are outperforming not just the arrival figures for 2022 but are also set to grow above their pre-pandemic levels. ForwardKeys says that  Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Qatar will exceed the pre-pandemic levels while Morocco just reaching 2019 international arrival levels.


Olivier Ponti

“The MENA region’s tourism industry is set to continue its strong recovery during the summer months thanks to a combination of a substantial increase in travel intent, with flight searches for international trips to MENA made in the first three months of the year up by 39 pc on the same period last year and the enhanced flight connectivity, with available seats for travelling to MENA destinations internationally up by 19 pc on 2019 levels,’’ says Olivier Ponti, Vice President of Insights at ForwardKeys.

In terms of which source markets are the most engaged and interested in the MENA region, the latest air ticket data from ForwardKeys shows that the Egyptian market is pivotal, up by 109 pc on 2019 levels from June–August. The United Kingdom is also up, 28 pc above 2019 levels, and Australia, an important long-haul market, is down just by 5 pc compared to the pre-pandemic but up by 119 pc compared to 2022.

Outbound MENA travellers prefer nature reserves this summer

ForwardKeys says that Saudi Arabia is the most booked destination for travel from the MENA region this summer, up by 79 pc versus the pre-pandemic. The Saudi government has heavily invested in developing its tourism infrastructure and offering, the data shows that all the investment is working, particularly with regional markets, adds the statement by ForwardKeys. It says that a key milestone for arrivals to Saudi Arabia came early in January when the government announced that there will be no limit on the number of pilgrims who can attend the Hajj in 2023 for the first time since Covid-19. Religious events in the region continue to prove key for the travel industry.

In second place is exotic Thailand. The growth of bookings to Southeast Asian destinations is strong, with Thailand leading by 233 pc versus 2022 levels and +109 pc on 2019 levels.

‘‘Now that travel restrictions have eased and air connectivity is returning closer to pre-pandemic levels in the Asia Pacific region, we are seeing a surge of travellers from the MENA flocking East this summer, in search of adventure, relaxation and a much-needed escape from the challenges of recent years,’’ adds Ponti.

Coming in third place is Austria, that is up by 25 pc on 2019 levels, a much cooler destination for those looking to escape the scorching temperatures in the Middle East. The statement adds that ForwardKeys team members Katrina Dawson and Gamal Sadek will be attending ATM in Dubai.

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