Mena leisure travel stays steady in 2012
Dubai, March 27, 2013
Mena leisure travel has remained steady, with 42 per cent of online respondents travelling for leisure in 2012, a similar percentage to the reported 41 per cent in 2011, a report said.
On average, Mena leisure travelers interviewed took five leisure trips by air over the course of the year, added the most recent edition of the YouGov Travel Oracle, in line with the results of 2011.
With 13 per cent of Mena leisure travelers visiting the UAE for their most recent holiday, the Emirates was the most popular travel destination for leisure holidays in 2012.
Other popular destinations included Saudi Arabia (8 per cent), Egypt (7 per cent), India (6 per cent) and Turkey (5 per cent).
The UAE was a particularly favoured destination amongst residents of Oman (28 per cent of Omani leisure travelers last visited the UAE for leisure travel), Sudan (25 per cent), Bahrain (22 per cent) and KSA (22 per cent).
The attractiveness of the UAE as a leisure destination may be somewhat explained by the importance travelers place on the safety and security of a destination (40 per cent of respondents chose this as among the most important attributes considered when deciding on a leisure destination), placed only slightly behind the importance of reasonable cost (46 per cent) and good weather (45 per cent), according to the report.
At the other end of the scale, less important attributes included a destination’s novelty (15 per cent), the availability of events/concerts/festivals (16 per cent) and surprisingly, recommendations from other travelers/word-of-mouth (18 per cent).
Visiting friends and relatives was the most common reason for leisure travel, with one in five respondents travelling for this purpose, a number that increased to one in four when looking at female leisure travel.
Considering the different regions covered, GCC residents were also most likely to be travelling to visit friends and relatives (23 per cent), whilst the largest proportion of those from North Africa and the Levant travelled last for a cruise holiday (20 per cent and 22 per cent respectively), the report said.
Looking across age groups, older travelers (40+) had a higher interest in cultural/sightseeing holidays, whilst younger respondents were slightly more drawn to adventure trips.
There is also a clear correlation between visit purpose and holiday budget, so that those travelling to visit friends and relatives, typically have a lower total personal holiday budget (a mean spend of $3329).
Respondents in the highest spend category (those with a total personal trip budget mean of $5000+) were typically travelling for shopping or touring (either by bus or car).
Female respondents and those from the GCC also emerged as higher spenders, with females spending an average of $4184 (compared to $3944 for males) and GCC residents spending $4331 on average (vs. $3486 for North Africa residents and $3057 for residents of the Levant), the report said. – TradeArabia News Service