Climate change could stifle the Middle East’s tourism rebound | Suha Ma’ayeh

climate,tourism,middle,east,middle east
Jordan
  • Date: 28-Nov-2022
  • Source: Arab Weekly
  • Sector:Oil & Gas
  • Country:Jordan
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Climate change could stifle the Middle East’s tourism rebound | Suha Ma’ayeh

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After a two-year slowdown, tourism is once again booming in the Middle East. As countries lift their COVID-19 travel restrictions and demand for travel returns, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) projects that the sector’s contribution to regional GDP will grow more than 36 percent in 2022, to more than $256 billion.

While this is undoubtedly great news for countries where tourism accounts for the lion’s share of revenue, there is an existential threat to this tourism rebound: climate change. The countries most dependent on tourism are also the very countries most affected by the changing weather.

In Jordan, where tourism is one of the top earners of foreign currency and the second-largest private sector employer, accounting for 7.3 percent of pre-pandemic jobs, drought is exacerbating water scarcity in one of the world’s most water scarce countries.

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