Tourism Malaysia has inked an agreement with online travel operator Expedia (Shutterstock).

Islamic Lifestyle

Newswrap: Islamic lifestyle

Tourism Malaysia inks deal with Expedia; Egypt comes out top in African tourism; Saudi Arabia inks new tourism agreements; Turkey’s tourism sector set for strong growth.


Tourism Malaysia inks deal with Expedia

With Malaysia having reopened its borders to tourists, the country is working to bolster visitor numbers, hoping to attract 2 million this year. As part of its strategy, Tourism Malaysia inked a deal with online travel agency Expedia to promote tourism, focusing on Australia, the USA and the UK, reported Free Malaysia Today. The government body is also collaborating with 11 Malaysian media outlets to “produce a series of branded content or niche programmes emphasising the Economic Stimulus Package 2.0 projects and to promote this year’s Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign”. Malaysia has attracted 1 million visitors since reopening on 1 April. In 2020, only 4.3 million tourists visited the country due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, down from 26.1 million visitors in 2019.

Egypt comes out top in African tourism

In the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel and Tourism Development Index 2021, Egypt was ranked first in Africa, fifth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and 51st globally, reported Arab Finance. At a global level, the north Africa country rose by eight places from 2019. Egypt hopes to double tourism revenues this year to $12 billion. Operations are to start at Egypt’s new airport, the Sphinx International Airport near the Giza pyramids, in mid-July.

Turkey’s tourism sector set for strong growth

Turkey’s tourism’s GDP is slated to grow at an average rate of 5.5% per year over the next decade, outpacing the 2.5% growth rate of the country’s overall economy, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact Report. By 2032, tourism could contribute $117 billion a year, equivalent to 11% of the economy. The sector is also expected to create more than 716,000 new jobs over the next decade.

By the end of 2022, the sector’s could contribute $68.5 billion to the economy, with employment in the sector forecast to grow by 4% to reach more than 2.5 million jobs. Tourism generated $78.2 billion in 2019, falling to $36.9 billion in 2020, a 52.8% decline. Half a million jobs were also lost.

Turkey is slated to be the fourth most popular European tourism destination this year, with bookings up 101% from the UK, and by 57%, 28% and 18% from the USA, Canada, and Ireland respectively.

Saudi Arabia inks new tourism agreements

At the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia announced several new agreements and partnerships, reported Al Sharq al Awsat. The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) announced it signed three new management agreements with international brands, while the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) signed a financing agreement to develop the first Nobu complex in the Eastern Province.

Saudi Arabia meanwhile moved up ten places in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel and Tourism Development Index 2021, to 33rd globally out of 117 countries benchmarked on 17 pillars, including development and the resilience of tourism industries. Under the kingdom’s Vision 2030, the country aims to generate 10% of GDP from tourism, create 1 million new jobs and attract 100 million visitors.