Business travel

Intention to travel to the Middle East remains strong: report

Intention to travel to the Middle East both domestically and overseas is strong, with business travel tending to be half as popular, BVA BDRC, an international consumer and business consultancy, said in a new report.

Middle Eastern baby boomers dominate the region’s domestic leisure market, having made more than 12 trips in the past two years, according to the latest hotel guest survey.

The study found that 63% of holidaymakers had already booked a holiday abroad, or were very likely to, with 82% of the domestic market also considering a break. travellers.

James Bland, Director of BVA BDRC, said: “Demand for travel as we emerge from the pandemic is booming and consumers, especially those with time and money to spare, are eagerly awaiting their trips to the beach.”

Business travelers are lagging behind in their intentions, although they are still more likely to hit the road than most of the regions we cover in the world. There have been significant investments in travel and tourism in the region in recent years and it is now paying off.

The domestic leisure market has remained popular during the pandemic, with an average of 6.1 leisure trips taken over the past two years, compared to 5.3 overseas leisure trips.

Bland said: “Before the pandemic, countries in the Middle East had invested to shift their economies away from oil dependence and towards travel and tourism. With new attractions and destinations and growing infrastructure, the benefits can be seen in the growth in travel intentions recorded here.

Online travel agents maintained their dominance when assessing best rate perception, with 45% of customers believing they offered the best price, compared to hotel websites, where best rate perception has dropped over the past two years from 27% to 22%. .

Preferred booking channels were tightly split, with 52% of respondents preferring hotel brand sites for business travel, while 48% of leisure travelers turned to all other booking sites instead.

Hilton Hotels Resorts held the brand advantage in the market, followed by Sheraton. Holiday Inn Express was most favored in the economy tier, with Holiday Inn leading the mid-market, Hilton Hotels Resort in the full-service upper tier, and InterContinental in the luxury tier.

Business and leisure travelers were looking for comfortable, well-equipped rooms where they could relax, with those traveling for pleasure with children being most motivated by the on-site children’s entertainment and facilities.

When looking at NPS and Likelihood to Recommend, in terms of brands used by respondents in the past 24 months, Four Seasons was the most favored flag. For loyalty across any time scale, with the proportion of users citing the brand as their first or second choice for any type of trip, Tulip Inn led the economy segment, with Rama da in the mid-market, Hilton Hotels Resorts in the upper tier full-service Four Seasons in luxury and Airbnb was the only brand to feature in homestays.

Bland said: “The leisure customer continued to see OTAs as the likeliest home of the best rate as hotels’ own booking sites failed to catch up much ground during the pandemic.”

Once the business traveler starts to return, brands will be able to loosen their loyalty programs again, but until then owners will find themselves paying higher commissions to OTAs and may start to question the volume of travel. business bought by the flags. . – TradeArabia Press Office