Tourism in the Middle East is expected to produce 72,000 new jobs this year.
The World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) president Jean-Claude Baumgarten told delegates at the Arabian Travel Market summit in Dubai recently that the region's growth would be robust.
He forecast that travel and tourism trade, including investment and Government spending, would grow by 4.8% to $128.6b (£68.3b) in 2005. He also predicted solid long-term growth with a yearly growth over the next 10 years up to 2015 estimated to average 4.4% a year.
Baumgarten stressed the importance of recognising the potential impact tourism and travel would have on Middle Eastern economies and the potential for job creation.
"Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut are excellent examples of how Government and industry leaders can use travel and tourism to diversify and develop a broader, healthier and more robust economy which is less dependent on narrowly focused industries and commodities," he said.
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