Digital Media Services (DMS), the digital arm of the Choueiri Group, revealed the main post-Covid travel trends in the MENA region.
“With the easing of Covid-related travel restrictions around the world, Arab travelers are once again taking to the skies to explore their dreams, aspirations and new destinations. However, they do so with new mindsets, new motivations, and redefined values and behaviors based on entirely new ways of thinking,” DMS said of their research.
DMS identified these new mindsets and feelings from a research sample of 3,000 Arab consumers located in key MENA regions of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan. Data collection took place during the first quarter of 2022.
Key findings from the research study include:
• Consumer Sentiments About Post-Covid Travel
Of the top five feelings about post-covid travel, four were positive. 34% of respondents said they were optimistic about post-covid travel, while 27% felt worried. Feelings of calm, confidence, and peace come next at 26, 23, and 23 percent, respectively.
Currently, 58% of Arab consumers are less worried and have already started to travel, while the remaining 42% are still worried and hesitant to travel anytime soon.
• Preferred destinations and vital considerations when planning the trip
Most people in the post-covid world travel for leisure purposes, with 65% of respondents traveling solely for leisure and 12% for business and travel purposes. Only 23% traveled solely for business purposes.
The respondents’ favorite destinations for leisure in international and regional areas are Europe with 51% of responses and the United Arab Emirates with 41% of responses. Asia and the United States are the next favorite international destinations. In the region, the United Arab Emirates is followed by Egypt and Saudi Arabia in terms of travel.
The budget is the first factor taken into account for future trips according to 56% of respondents, ahead of factors related to covid. However, consumers who are still hesitant to travel are considering covid-related factors. Consumers who are willing to travel are looking at the type of activities that can be done in the country of destination.
• The most significant changes in traveler behavior
64% of travelers now consider hotels more than other accommodations and 68% are interested in less traveled destinations and smaller towns.
There is a greater reliance on technology to maintain less contact with 67% of respondents preferring to book online more than before and 59% avoiding using cash while travelling.
50% of travelers hold back their plans until the last moment to avoid cancellations.
The study also inspected Arab consumers’ plans to travel to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. 84% of the 41% traveling to the UAE plan to visit Dubai. Shopping and visiting the beach are the main reasons to consider the United Arab Emirates as a destination.
Travelers to the region do not see Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination. 88% of respondents cited religious tourism and pilgrimage as a reason for visiting Saudi Arabia and 76% visited Mecca.
See the full report and other information here