Middle East Posts Surge in European Summer Travel
HotelsCombined data shows London, Paris and Frankfurt among top destinations
Dubai, UAE (August 12, 2013): Demand for European destinations rose by 45 percent in August among Middle East travellers compared to the same period last year, according to a recent study by leading price comparison site HotelsCombined. London, Paris and Frankfurt featured within travellers’ top five destinations alongside Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.
Middle East travellers were also found to be spending substantially more per booking in these destinations than the global average. This was particularly evident in London, where the average stay value was 71 percent higher for Middle Eastern consumers at 12,443.31 AED over the global average of 3609.06 AED. Paris came second for Middle East travellers in terms of expenditure with an average stay value of 6614.27, followed by Dubai at 4962.70 AED.
In terms of popularity, the affluent inner-city London neighbourhood of Marylebone was by far the most searched area for Middle Eastern travellers for the second year in a row, likely due to its proximity to attractions such as Hyde Park and for its abundance of high-end hotels including The Montcalm and The Churchill Hyatt Regency. In Paris, bookings for hotels along the Champs-Elysees strip - home to the famed Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde – attracted the most interest among Middle East online users.
Amer Al Halabi, Regional Manager of MENA for HotelsCombined, said: “Europe’s growing popularity among Middle Eastern travellers can be attributed to a number of different factors including the milder summer climate and the diverse retail and cultural experiences on offer. It’s also interesting to note just how much more Middle Eastern travellers are willing to spend on European accommodation compared to travellers from across the globe, a sign that Middle Easterns are more apt to book longer-term and higher-end stays.”
In Dubai, the global average stay value has remained at a healthy rate (5120.22 AED) this year thanks to the various cultural events and holidays taking place throughout the season. Moussa El Hayek, Chief Operating Officer of Al Bustan Centre & Residence, said: “August 2013 is going to be a very busy month due to many factors. There’s Eid Al Fitr in the second week of August and we have the school holidays in the region which will help to boost our occupancy. We anticipate good and fruitful business to our property during the month of August.”
Overall, HotelsCombined noted that hotels change their rates based on season and that prices will generally spike when demand starts to increase. Thus it is essential for travellers to use a meta-search engine such as HotelsCombined in order to compare prices in real time.
“Sometimes inventory can change due to cancellations so checking online is the key to finding the best available room and rate,” said Halabi.
About HotelsCombined data:
HotelsCombined data is based upon user activity across the site. Because it incorporates data from hundreds of the top travel websites, it is the most comprehensive benchmark available in determining travel trends.
HotelsCombined is the world’s leading hotel discovery and price comparison site, allowing travellers to find their ideal accommodation from all the best travel sites in one search. More than 200 million people every year use HotelsCombined.com to find the best prices for 400,000 hotels in 120,000 destinations. HotelsCombined is available in 39 languages and delivers prices in 120 currencies.
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