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46% of Middle East luxury travellers plan to holiday abroad in 2021, says YouGov survey


The latest data analysis produced by YouGov for Reed Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has revealed that 46% of luxury travellers in the Middle East, are planning to travel internationally at some stage during 2021.


The survey also asked the same recipients if they were planning to take a domestic holiday or staycation during 2021 and more than half (52%) of the respondents confirmed that they would. Furthermore, 25% of respondents were planning to make a business trip, either domestically or internationally and 4% of respondents had no plans to travel anywhere in 2021.


YouGov, which defines luxury travellers as those who tend to fly business or first-class and stay in five-star accommodation, also asked luxury travellers in the Middle East about their frequency of travel – 31% of respondents said they planned to travel twice over the next 12 months and 25% confirmed they were planning on making at least one overseas trip.


Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, which will take place live at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) 16-19 May 2021, said: “Luxury travellers from the Middle East are more likely to travel with their children, compared with those from other regions (40% versus 36%). And when you add that fact to their planned frequency of travel, it makes the Middle East’s outbound luxury travel sector, one of the most sought after globally.”


According to the survey, Middle East luxury travellers are keen on destinations with outstanding natural beauty (34%), beach holidays (34%), conducive climate (29%) and connectivity (28%). The survey also uncovered that luxury travellers in the Middle East are most concerned about health risks of travelling (43%) and safety (35%). However, one in three respondents also said that the actual price and that it represented good value for money was still very important.


“With vaccines being rolled out across the world, travel professionals operating in the luxury segment will welcome the insight this survey has provided, which affords them the opportunity to further develop their marketing strategies for the Middle East region and beyond,” added Curtis.


Luxury is an integral part of ATM and has its own dedicated show, ILTM Arabia, which is co-located with ATM and scheduled to take place between 17th-18th May 2021. This two-day event provides each exhibitor with up to 40 fifteen-minute meetings with experienced luxury tour operators from across the Middle East.


Luxury exhibitors participating at ATM this year include Emaar Hospitality, Nobu Hospitality, The Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Wilderness Safaris, One&Only, Dusit Hotels & Resorts, Minor Hotels Group and Shangri-La, among others.

Now in its 28th year and working in collaboration with DWTC and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the theme of the show next year will be ‘A new dawn for travel and tourism’ and the spotlight will be thrown onto the current state of the industry and more importantly, what the future holds. It will also look at the emerging trends and how innovation can drive the industry forward.


ATM 2021 will also play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week and for the first time, a new hybrid format will be in place. This means an additional virtual ATM will be organised to run the following week, which will complement the live event by accommodating visitors who may be unable to travel to Dubai. The inaugural ATM Virtual 2020, attracted 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries, over three days.

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