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Middle East tourism to double

04 May 2006
Middle East tourism to double

Travel and tourism in the Middle East is set to double in the next 10 years, according to a new report released this week.

The World Travel and Tourism Council's 2006 Travel and Tourism Economic Research in the Middle East, expects the region to generate $148b (£81b) of economic activity this year, with that figure rising to $296b (£163b) by 2016.

Tourism in the Middle East is ranked ninth in the world with current market share at 2.3%. However, this is expected to grow to 4% in 2006 and by a further 4.4% per annum for the next decade.

Within the region, Oman will be the fastest-growing country in the next 10 years at 5.3% growth per annum, followed by Saudi Arabia at 5.1%.

In employment terms, tourism currently accounts for 1.7 million jobs, or 3.7% of total employment. This is set to rise to 2.5 million jobs, or 4.3% of the total, by 2016.

Richard Miller, executive vice-president of WTTC said: "The Middle East's travel and tourism economy is robust and growing and this is expected to continue."

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