Global tourism ministers gathered at the 2022 Middle East Tourism Investment Summit on the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Global Stage yesterday to discuss access to project finance in the post-COVID-19 era and discuss investment opportunities and challenges for destination tourism in the region, as tourism destinations in the Middle East broaden their appeal and expand their offerings to attract FDI.
The summit, which was co-hosted by ATM and the International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), kicked off with a Ministerial Roundtable featuring H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Chairman of the Emirates Tourism Council of the UAE; H.E. Nayef Al Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan; Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica; and Hon. Philda Nani
"Investment in rooms and keys remains a primary focus for the UAE hospitality accommodation sector, as evidenced by a 5% increase in the number of rooms compared to 2019 levels, with a variety of service levels and accommodation types," H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi said, shedding new light on the Middle East and the UAE as a financial hub for future worldwide tourism investment. While big-ticket FDI in terms of rooms will continue to rise, we are seeing a lot of venture capital invested in tourism-related technological solutions. We anticipate technology as a major investment area in the future as customer demand for improved tourism experiences continues to grow. So, while the rehabilitation is progressing well, we need to be proactive.
According to recent estimates, the travel and tourism industry's total contribution to the GDP of Middle Eastern countries will be roughly US$ 486.1 billion by 2028. Governments around the region are attracting significant investments in their tourist industries, with Bahrain attracting US$ 492 million in tourism capital investment in 2020 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia allocating US$ 1 trillion to its travel and tourism sector through 2030, for example.
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