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MEA Trends

Is 2023 the Year of the Middle East and Africa?

The Middle East region and Africa (MEA) have surpassed all other travel markets in rate of recovery for travel demand in Q2 ’23. The growth is expected to continue during the upcoming summer season, as trends indicate a high volume of travelers flocking to MEA. International arrivals in MEA are estimated to be 15% higher in the summer months of 2023 than the all-time high figures of 2019, according to the latest PULSE report powered by Adara, a RateGain company.

Adara’s travel-intent data, one of the world’s largest travel data consortiums, reveals that business flight bookings to the MEA region are soaring high in 2023 after surpassing the pre-pandemic figures from 2019 in Q4 ’22 alone. The MEA travel market showed a remarkable recovery in the first quarter of 2023, with Turkey receiving a maximum number of leisure travel bookings for Q2, while the UAE continues to be the top business arrival destination in the region. Foreign arrivals in Turkey will be at a year-over-year high of 40-50% for Q2 ’23, surpassing global travel recovery around the world. Leisure travel demand is being driven by travelers from the U.S. and Europe, while business travel demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) comes primarily from the Middle East and Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

In Q2 ’23, the MEA region is estimated to maintain its growth pattern and exceed pre-pandemic business travel spending levels. This growth is primarily observed by the surge in flight prices to Dubai from the APAC region and a relatively high average daily rate (ADR) for hotel bookings in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, propelled by demand during Ramadan.

The chart below illustrates the demand for hotel rooms with an ADR over $400 in Egypt over the past several years.


Source: Adara, A RateGain Company











The region’s ability to adapt and innovate in response to changing circumstances has been a vital driver in post-pandemic recovery. The price and proximity of travel destinations from key regions have also been significant factors steered by recovery in the market. While the West has been facing inflationary issues, the MEA region has become a lucrative market for travel expenditures. Leisure travelers choose to spend their vacations in countries with attractive exchange rates. Travelers book their holidays well in advance when they can reap the benefits of their stronger currency, uncertain of the probability of favorable currency exchange in the future.

The region is evolving to drive more leisure travel, innovative experiences and sustainable tourism. The pandemic has changed how people travel, and there is a rise in group, family and couple vacations. Shorter vacations are in, and planned advance bookings are on the rise. To cater to their demand for personalized, independent and safe travel, travel organizations must understand the demand well and act quickly upon it.

Adara’s travel-intent data consortium and solutions, powered by over 270 brands with more than 24 billion data elements and 1.5 billion digital identities, are used by leading airlines, hotel chains, tourism organizations, online travel agencies (OTAs), as well as luxury retailers, to reach the right audiences and drive higher ROI on their marketing efforts.

Download the full report here.

To request a custom report for your region, please visit Adara’s Customer Intelligence Center