MENA outbound travel to hit $110 billion by 2025. MENA outbound travel to hit $110 billion by 2025.

A new study claims the rise of emerging middle class and growing digital connectivity will be major driving forces for the growth of travel and tourism industry in the MENA region for over the next decade.

Annual spending on global cross-border travel is estimated to reach US $1.5 trillion (AED 5.5 trillion) from $1.1 trillion (AED4 trillion) currently by 2025, according to Visa’s “Mapping the Future of Global Travel and Tourism” study.

Speaking at the Visa Travel & Payment Trends Seminar in Dubai, the company’s senior director and international economist Richard Lung identified three key global trends that will shape the future of the industry: a new ‘travelling class’, increasing digital connectivity, and an ageing population, reported The Peninsula.

It is estimated that the MENA region will see the number of annual outbound trips increase from 42 million in 2016 to 65 million by 2025.

The study claims this could lead to regional outbound travel spend increasing annually by 3.6%, from $77 billion (AED283 billion) to $110 billion (AED 404 billion) by 2025.

The report also added, only a few years ago, medical tourism was a 'blip' in overall global tourism spending, while today it is a multi-billion dollar industry that is expected to increase by up to 25% per year over the next 10 years.

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