Middle East leads global recovery in tourism projects

05 March 2024
Tourist arrival numbers exceeded pre-pandemic numbers by 22%

The Middle East region is leading the recovery in global leisure and hospitality construction projects, driven by tourist arrival numbers that exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 22%, according to a report by GlobalData.

By contrast, Europe, the world's largest destination region, recovered to 94% of pre-pandemic levels, supported by strong intraregional demand.

Post-Covid recovery of the tourism sector, on which many countries are reliant, will likely support new investment in leisure and hospitality construction projects.

Amid an expansion in investment in leisure and hospitality construction projects across major markets, the pipeline of schemes in the sector is sizeable.

According to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), about 1.2 billion international tourists (overnight visitors) were recorded across the world in 2023, an increase of 34% compared to 2022.

International tourism recovered to 88% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, supported by strong pent-up demand.

Following a strong recovery in 2023, international tourism is well on track, with international tourism levels expected to surpass pre-pandemic figures in 2024.

GlobalData is tracking leisure and hospitality building projects around the world with a total value of $1.85tn in the pipeline, up marginally from $1.84tn in Q4 2023. This comprises hotel and resort projects in addition to mixed-use developments that include a significant leisure and hospitality-related component.

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