GCC Travelers Play an Important Role in Tourism Recovery
Arabic travelers in the GCC plan for new travel experiences says expert during ATM 2022
- The UAE and Saudi Arabia top the MENA region list of where GCC travelers plan to travel
- The company utilizes AI technology to measure tourism trends in the GCC by monitoring over 4 million social media posts from two million unique Arabic speaking social media accounts in the region
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11 May 2022: GCC travellers are looking to make up for lost time when it comes to travel, with the anticipation of new experiences dominating conversations, according to research revealed yesterday at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022 by leading consumer intelligence company D/A.
The research is based on the analysis of over four million social media posts and comments from more than two million Arabic-speaking unique users in the GCC. The number of travel conversations and posts about travel increased by 110% and 151%, respectively, between 2019 and 2021.
Speaking on the ATM Global Stage on Tuesday, 10 May, Paul Kelly, Managing Partner, D/A, said: “Travel conversations increased to over 1.3 million in 2021, underscoring the willingness by Arabic speakers in the GCC to travel, regardless of age or nationality. We are ultimately witnessing the pent-up demand from the last two years coming to the fore as borders reopen, flights are back on track, and restrictions are lifted.”
GCC travelers have a vital role in tourism recovery, a direct result of their spending power. According to the UNWTO, GCC travelers spend 6.5 times more than the global average, with 40% of GCC travelers spending more than AED36,700 on their last trip to Europe. Travelers from Saudi Arabia are reportedly the highest travel spenders globally.
“Overall, when it comes to the GCC traveler, the conversations indicate that something new is the order of the moment. Even in the familiar, a new experience is at the top of the wish list for that intent on traveling soon – a huge change from what we have seen in the past year or two,” Kelly added.
In terms of holiday preference, the consensus is on escaping and breaking free and discovering new experiences, which may have been unable to do in the last two years. Those in the younger age groups were keen on shopping and enjoying local flavors, while the older groups were more focused on staying closer to nature and relaxing. Having fun was a mainstay; however, mid-career professionals have a lot of work travel lined up.
Holiday destinations favored by GCC travelers followed the global google trend, which saw a spike in the search terms ‘staycation’ in 2020, which was representative of the number of people from GCC countries looking to vacation locally.
According to the D/A research, the UAE was the most popular destination in the MENA region, followed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and Qatar. In Europe, the UK was the most popular destination, followed by France, Germany, and Italy, with Switzerland rounding out the top five list.
Elsewhere on the agenda on Day 3 at the ATM Global stage, delegates participated in an in-depth discussion about the future of the region’s hotel industry and the importance of unique dining experiences as an essential tool in the destination marketing playbook. Moving forward, on the final day of ATM 2022, highlights include redefining the new and evolved Indian traveller, responsible technology for travel and tourism, and the return and rise of city tourism.
ATM 2022 concludes on Thursday, 12 May, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
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About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)
Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 29th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2021 showcased over 1,300 exhibiting companies from 62 countries across nine halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, with attendees from more than 110 countries over the four days. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai
Next in-person event: Monday 9 to Thursday 12 May 2022, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai https://www.wtm.com/atm/en-gb.html
Next virtual event: Tuesday 17 to Wednesday 18 May 2022
About Arabian Travel Week
Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2022. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ATM Virtual, ILTM Arabia, ARIVAL Dubai, Influencers’ events and activations, as well as Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country summits.
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About World Travel Market
World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:
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