Navigating the frontiers of “Hospitality Industry” in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Region

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented crisis for the tourism industry on a global scale, spanning from 2020 to 2022. The number of  international tourists, those staying overnight, plummeted from 1,465 million in 2019 to 407 million in 2020. This staggering 72% decline in just one year was a result of widespread lockdowns, extensive travel limitations, and a significant decrease in visitor demand. Although there was a slight increase in arrivals in 2021, they still remained 69% lower than the levels seen in 2019, as the world continued to combat the pandemic and most restrictions remained in effect. Conversely, domestic tourism experienced a moderate rebound in several markets. In 2022, there was a partial recovery in international travel driven by a strong release of pent-up demand and the gradual easing of restrictions. While arrivals more than doubled compared to 2021, they still fell short by 34% in comparison to the levels 

seen in 2019.

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