A Travel Sentiment Survey was conducted by AllDetails, a Dubai-based travel & tourism, hospitality, lifestyle and communications agency, resulting in insightful travel data stating that 86% Of Gulf countries residents want to travel internationally once this pandemic is all over.
Hope this article will give you a great insight and do find in grey boxes my extra thoughts and opinions! Don’t forget to share this article with your colleagues and if you are itching to travel, you can always read my travel magazine and follow me on Instagram!
Gulf-based travellers are already thinking of planning future trips and gearing up for travel after observing countries starting to come out of lockdown and slowly lifting their restrictions.
It is of course still very much unsure as many country borders are still closed, but considering each country is now working on bilateral access to reopen slowly the tourism sector, there is still some hope. After discussing with a few people from the tourism sector in Asia, I’ve noticed that their plan is to encourage local and regional tourism first, for example, before focusing on the Gulf Market. In Europe, my colleagues have shared the same sentiment of prioritizing travel within the European Union before even thinking of the rest of the world.
The survey was conducted amongst residents and citizens of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in order to understand their sentiment towards travel during the Covid-19 pandemic has shown a strong interest and even preference in international destinations.
83% have said that they enjoy thinking about travel during this period while 56% of the respondents admitted that they were negatively affected by Covid-19 news.AllDetails, Dubai
The respondents expect to have some health security guarantees in place to travel again and will then travel as soon as 2 to 4 weeks after the travel restrictions have been lifted; for both leisure and business purposes.
As Tourism Boards and Hoteliers, it is a no-brainer that a health and safety plan must be in the works at the moment, or even already published to the media. I have personally observed the Italy Tourism Board and even of Visit Bergamo, a place heavily hit by the pandemic, partake in the Arabian Travel Mart to also reassure the partners in the region.
On top of that, a few tourism boards such as Abu Dhabi, Seychelles, Maldives, to only name a few, have already started to send to the media health and safety plan of attack to how they will tackle the come back of tourism post-pandemic.
As for the hospitality sector, it has been a positive trend amongst most groups to share their cleanliness, health and safety plans to insure that they will be ready to host guests as soon as possible.
There will be evidently an increase of interest from consumers to choose a destination and place to stay that will make them feel safe.
The survey revealed that 72% of GCC travellers will travel for leisure, with a change in scenery being their first priority and 80% will travel for a duration of one week or more.AllDetails, Dubai
To my surprise, the survey shows that young travellers between 21 – 34 years old are more cautious and would wait longer than the older age group of 35 – 64 years old, to travel again. Respondents across all age groups have shared that they do enjoy thinking and reading about travel during the pandemic.
Owning an online travel magazine, I have observed a significant drop of reader ship of 40% in April, but as the months went by until now, the readership has gone up again, confirming that people are indeed itching to travel again and want to be thinking of their next opportunity to travel again. More than ever, everyone in the tourism industry must be active on social media and blogs to keep the people engaged and to keep stimulating their desire to travel. There will be some fighting for travel Klout, but better start now than wait for the reopening of travel internationally because it will be even harder than to compete to be heard.
One of the ways I suggest you to do is to keep being engaged with your audience on your social media. Repost beautiful photos. Invite influencers and media that you have worked with in the past to support you via Instagram takeovers on stories, etc. There are endless ways to keep the people engaged! Another way is to fuel virtual travel by sharing with the world ways to Travel From Home, like via recipes/cooking, videos, etc. With the importance of virtual travel, we have even created a whole Travel From Home section on our magazine AdventureFaktory.com.
“The sentiment across the region is very much a resounding “Yes!” to travel as soon as it is safe to do so. The period of lockdown has made us all realise that we were taking our freedom to travel and experience new places and cultures for granted. I believe we have all been writing our bucket lists and thinking about all the new places we want to visit and experience as well as re-visiting our old favourites once again. We have been dreaming about travel over the last few weeks and are all longing to start exploring again soon”, said Isabel Tapp, Founder & CEO of AllDetails.