ForwardKeys announced at WTTC´s Global Summit in Riyadh today that despite the current global challenges such as the war in Ukraine and impending inflation, the travel market is seeing an uplift in international arrivals. Apart from the travel recovery in the Americas, particularly Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East is proving to be capturing the attention of international travellers in Q4 and early 2023.

The Middle East travel recovery and growth in Q4

The Middle East is shifting to growth mode in Q4 with international arrivals at +4%, long ahead of the global average of -30%. “The FIFA World Cup is certainly the key driver for its travel recovery”, says Juan Gomez, Head of Market Intelligence at ForwardKeys.

The latest air ticketing data by ForwardKeys also shows that international arrival levels may be back to normal in 2023, with travel to the Middle East up by 15% on pre-pandemic levels in Q1.

“The Middle East is the only region to show growth into 2023, but Africa and America are not too far behind. Overall, the outlook for 2023 looks promising, despite high inflation in key source markets and the looming recession. Tickets are still being booked and economy class travel continues closing the gap with premium cabins,” adds Gomez. The Middle East is indeed attracting more premium travellers than in 2019. Saudi Arabia shows the greatest growth, but Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon are also showing growth, with a regional average of 11% above 2019.

ForwardKeys has recently launched the 2022 Most Visited Destinations Report, featuring a top 100 destinations by region list whilst also examining key destinations which showed uncanny resilience and travel data mastery: Albania, Tanzania, Fiji, and the Maldives. The country list is headed by the Dominican Republic, and the city list is by Antalya in Turkey.

According to the report, the Dominican Republic is set to welcome 5% more visitors than it did in 2019. It is followed by Turkey, Costa Rica, and Mexico, which will welcome the same number of visitors.

This full report is now available to be downloaded at

ForwardKeys is a travel data and analytics firm based in Spain. It has been pioneering the way data is used for the travel industry since 2010 with strong alliances with WTTC, UNWTO, TFWA, and MEADFA.


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2022-12-01T15:56:20+01:0001/12/2022|All, DMO, In the News|
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