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UAE sees increasing demand from European travellers

DUBAI, February 18, 2019

The number of travellers visiting the UAE from Europe is on the rise, according to the latest data compiled by Expedia Group, furthering the country’s position as a top tourist destination in the Middle East.

The Q4 2018 data showed the top 10 markets into the UAE included USA, UK, India, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, China and Sweden - a total of six European countries.

According to the research, while travellers from the USA topped the list for travel into the country in the last three months of the year, there has been a rise in European travellers from the UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy and Sweden into the UAE. These countries contributed to a total of approximately 30 per cent of the room nights in the UAE in Q4 of 2018.

This significant increase from Europe can be contributed to the increase in mid-market hotels in the UAE, pricing, extra flights to Europe and comparative fares. Millennials, who are currently at the prime of their spending and decision-making years, are influencing trends across industries including the travel industry. There has been a rise in the number of millennials travelling to the UAE. Trends also reveal corporate travellers from Europe are now on a budget when travelling.

Travel from the UK can be predominantly contributed to UAE’s strong trade relations with the UK. UAE is the fifth largest trading partner for the UK and has increasing investments in various sectors.

Package demand
According to Expedia Group’s data, there was an overall rise in demand for package bookings in Q4 2018. The USA led room night share of package demand at just above 30 per cent, which is an impressive increase of over 55 per cent compared to 2017. This was followed by the UK at just above 15 per cent, which is an increase of 15 per cent when compared to the same period in 2017. Chinese travellers, once again, showed one of the highest year-on-year increases in demand for package travel into the UAE, with an increase of over 190 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. Indian package demand increased just under 45 per cent year-on-year.

A surge in package demand is great news for hoteliers as package customers tend to have a longer booking window, a longer length of stay and a smaller cancellation rate than standalone bookings.

Paula De Keijzer, senior director Market Management Middle East, Africa, Greece & Turkey at Lodging Partner Services, Expedia Group, said: “As seen from the recent findings, UAE continues to be a tourist hotspot for European travellers. This growth could be driven by various factors introduced into the region including an increase in air capacity, rise in business opportunities, strategic marketing tie-ups and promotional activities, etc. All these factors could be adding to the appeal of UAE to European visitors." - TradeArabia News Service




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