6-May-2010 12:17 PM

Recovery in tourism led by China, Middle East market grows: Euromonitor

Euromonitor International stated the present tourism recovery after the global financial crisis has been led by China, which has seen 10% growth, with growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) forecast at over 4% in 2010. Pre-recession levels are expected by 2012 (EyeofDubai, 05-May-2010). Euromonitor stated that an emphasis on diversity and a strategy of liberalisation will be key to growing the Middle East's tourism position. Saudi Arabia led the region in terms of attracting inbound visitors in 2009 (+23% year-on-year) with the country expecting to attract 13 million more visitors p/a by 2014, taking numbers to 30 million p/a. Qatar, Libya and Jordan are also making significant headway as emerging destinations, according to Euromonitor, with Lebanon also being boosted by its return to stability. The UAE saw a 2% reduction in visitor numbers in 2009 but is expected to grow by 3% in 2010.  Dubai is targeting 10.4 million visitors a year by 2014, up from 8.7 million in 2009, while Abu Dhabi is planning to almost double the number of hotel guests it receives by 2012 to 2.7 million.