Initially lagging leisure travel, business travel has found its footing in the second half of 2022, especially in cultures that prioritize returning to the office. Growth: Comparing March 2023 to March 2022 specifically travel experiences grew 117.5% YoY in Morocco. This is according to a recent analysis unveiled by Mastercard Economics Institute which highlights the main trends of the travel industry in 2023. Mastercard Economics Institute has just unveiled its Travel Industry Trends 2023 report. travel increased by 117.5% year-on-year in Morocco in March 2023 (vs March 2022). It also learns that consumers, including those in the Middle East and Africa (MENA), will benefit from a more traditional travel ecosystem in 2023, prioritizing leisure travel and borrowing new corridors around the world. “Faced with headwinds in the economy, the post-pandemic preference for experiences over things and continued demand for leisure travel are shaping the outlook for 2023. Initially lagging leisure travel, business travel found its feet in the second half of 2022, especially in cultures that prioritize returning to the office. With an uncertain economy creating turbulence between markets, the reopening of mainland China should support global growth. As this report highlights, the preference for experiences over things persists, and travelers around the world are showing a new demand for the singular. “Potentially influenced by social media and entertainment, travelers are landing in lesser-known destinations in search of cultural immersion. Global spending on experiences is up 65%, while spending on things is up 12% from 2019. In the MENA region, experience-based spending is increasing in some countries, such as Morocco. In addition, leisure travel and business travel are now increasing at the same rate (i.e. a change of 42% year-on-year between 2022 and 2023). In the second half of 2022-early 2023, business flight bookings caught up with leisure in regions with strong back-to-office culture. Between January and March 2023, leisure travel bookings in the UAE increased by 49.5% compared to the same period in 2022. According to the same source, travel and entertainment (T&E) spending by small businesses in the MENA region saw a 49% increase in March 2023 compared to March 2022. “The upward trajectory continues from January to March 2023, small business spending on travel and entertainment is up by 56%”, explains the same report. It should also be noted that in 2023, travelers are exploring destinations closer to home. In this respect, the United Kingdom, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and France remain the most popular international destinations for travelers leaving the Middle East.