UAE & KSA top global YouGov survey for intent to travel abroad in 2021

UAE & KSA top global YouGov survey for intent to travel abroad in 2021
  • 48% of UAE & 46% of KSA residents confirmed they intended to make an international trip within the next 12 months
  • Survey results further good news for ME aviation sector after vaccines begin to roll out around the world, says Arabian Travel Market

A recent ‘Global Holiday Intent’ survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has revealed that residents in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the most likely to make an international trip in 2021.

The poll, which was conducted during October and November 2020, asked recipients if they were planning to make an international trip within the next 12 months and 48% of those polled in the UAE confirmed their intent to travel, with Saudi Arabia coming in a close second with 46% of respondents confirming their intent to travel abroad in 2021.

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: “This survey was conducted before the most recent announcements about COVID-19 vaccines, so in many respects this is even better news for the Middle East’s aviation sector.

“Nearly half of those polled, confirmed that they intended to travel in 2021 and once vaccines have been rolled out around the world, those numbers can only increase.

“In terms of outbound travel, many expatriates will be looking for a relaxing holiday or hoping to travel home to see family and friends.

“In terms of inbound travel, it was welcome news that almost a third of Germans polled said that they intended to travel internationally – Germany is one of largest European feeder markets to the GCC, 1.8 million overnight stays in 2018. Indeed, over 316,000 Germans visited Dubai between January and June 2019.”  

Denmark, Norway and Germany rounded off the top five places with 36%, 34% and 31% respectively, with intent to travel overseas, while Japan at 5%, China at 10% and US on 14% were the least likely to travel internationally in 2021.

In terms of domestic travel, Thailand came out on top with 68% of residents confirming their intent to travel, with Indonesia (61%), Australia (59%), China (55%) and Malaysia (54%) making up the rest of the top five.

Singapore was at the bottom of the domestic travel poll with just 14% of respondents saying that they intended to travel in 2021, followed by Canada (27%), UAE (35%), KSA (37%) and Germany (40%).

“Much of the domestic travel in Asia will no doubt be linked to Chinese New Year, which is due to take place on 12th February,” added Curtis.

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.

Other notable features of Arabian Travel Week will include International Luxury Travel Market Arabia, (ILTM Arabia) and Travel Forward, the travel technology vertical. ATM will also be partnering with Arival, with content covering future trends for tour operators and destination managers.

Other highlights will include Buyers Forums dedicated to key source markets including Saudi Arabia, India and China plus a virtual digital influencers’ speed networking session, a hotel summit and a responsible tourism programme.

ATM generally welcomes thousands of travel trade professionals from more than 150 countries and is considered a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector. As such DWTC has set out to provide a touchless and seamless experience.

“The team at DWTC is working hard to ensure that all events run safely and have implemented a range of measures including an enhanced cleaning regime, improved air circulation, multiple hand sanitiser stations and temperature checks,” added Curtis.

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