Strong dollar set to impact tourism in the GCC

07 May 2015

Hospitality industry in the region faces short-term challenges caused by currency fluctuations

  • Strong dollar set to impact regional tourism market
  • Currency fluctuations pose a cyclical threat

Currency fluctuations and a strengthening dollar pose the biggest challenges for the region’s tourism industry, says Gerard Lawless, president and CEO of the UAE’s Jumeirah Group.

Speaking at a panel discussion during the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) held in Dubai on 8 May, Lawless told the audience that the combination of a weakening euro and a strengthening dollar is making places such as Dubai and other GCC cities far more expensive than it used to be.

“While this is a direct challenge being faced now, it is a cyclical one that will pass. But if we look at our two major issues at the moment, I think currency changes pose a bigger challenge than the question of too much supply because I feel the demand is there and will continue to grow,” says Lawless.

Lawless used Singapore as an example, which has suffered due to a strong Singaporean dollar in recent years.

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