Group Highlights Tourism’s Economic Vitality and Middle East Potential

DUBAI, UAE, Oct. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Group CEO Jane Sun highlighted the dynamic role of tourism as a key economic driver at the inaugural SuperBridge Summit Dubai. Her message emphasised the industry’s remarkable resilience and potential to drive substantial global growth, particularly in the Middle East. She also discussed the future of sustainable travel in the post-pandemic era. Group CEO Jane Sun (right), addressing the topic of tourism as a key driver of the economy, at the inaugural SuperBridge Summit in Dubai.

Ms Sun underscored the pivotal role of travel and tourism, noting that the travel industry, prior to the pandemic, contributed to 10% of all jobs worldwide, ushering in 1 in every 5 new job opportunities.

In the Middle East, an area brimming with opportunities, the UAE stands as the third-largest economy. According to global research, tourism represented 9% of the total GDP in 2022, with about USD 32 billion in international tourist spending. The sector also accounted for 12% of the UAE’s GDP, employing 363,000 people in 2019.

In addition to the economic vitality of tourism, Ms Sun explored prevailing trends within the travel industry, notably the resurging demand for domestic and global travel. With international travel restrictions lifted, domestic and regional tourism has experienced a remarkable upsurge. For instance, during China’s Golden Week, outbound travel volume surged by over 800% compared to the previous year, while domestic tourism grew by nearly 200% this year.

The Middle East, in particular, has emerged as a sought-after destination. According to Group data, hotel bookings from China to the Middle East have surged by over 400% in 2023, alongside a 300% increase in flight volumes. Additionally, bookings for attractions and events in Dubai have seen an astounding 450% surge in 2023.

Ms Sun also emphasised the growing importance of sustainable travel, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. Travellers are increasingly environmentally conscious, driving the industry to adopt eco-friendly practices and products. In response, Group has actively engaged in various initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable travel, including partnering with CHOOOSE to offset CO2 emissions and joining the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to encourage low-carbon practices in the tourism industry. She also lauded Dubai’s The Sustainable City aims to achieve net-zero energy by 2040 as a pioneering effort in creating eco-conscious destinations for tourists.

Jane Sun, CEO of Group, said, “Tourism stands as a key economic driver with unparalleled potential, driving global prosperity and shaping a brighter future. We are committed to harnessing this potential in the Middle East, offering high-spending tourists an unparalleled blend of luxury and sustainability. Together, we will make the Middle East a prime destination for travellers seeking exceptional experiences and eco-friendly adventures.”

Additionally, Ms Sun highlighted Group’s commitment to embracing technological innovation, particularly the Group’s AI-driven travel assistant, TripGenie. The tool is designed to streamline the booking process, catering to travellers’ needs and enhancing their overall experience. Group is resolute in its mission to create a sustainable, innovative, and enjoyable future for the travel industry, leveraging tourism’s economic vitality to propel global growth.

About Group Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centres. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission “to pursue the perfect trip for a better world”. Find out more about Group here.

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