UAE sees increasing demand from European travelers
The number of travelers visiting the UAE from Europe is on the rise, according to the latest data released by Expedia Group, furthering the country’s position as a top tourist destination in the Middle East.
The top 10 nationalities coming into the UAE included USA, UK, India, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, China, and Sweden – a total of six European countries, the 2018 fourth-quarter data showed.
While travelers 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 travelers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden into the UAE. These countries contributed to a total of about 30 percent of UAE room nights in the fourth-quarter of 2018.
“As seen from the recent findings, UAE continues to be a tourist hotspot for European travelers. This growth could be driven by various factors introduced into the region including an increase in air capacity, a rise in business opportunities, strategic marketing tie-ups, and promotional activities,” said Paula De Keijzer, Senior Director Market Management Middle East, Africa, Greece & Turkey at Lodging Partner Services, Expedia Group.
This significant rise in numbers from Europe can be attributed 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 traveling to the UAE. Trends also reveal corporate travelers from Europe are now on a budget when traveling.
UAE is the fifth largest trading partner for the UK and has increased investments in various sectors.
According to Expedia Group’s data, there was an overall rise in demand for package bookings in the fourth quarter of 2018. The USA led room night share of package demand at just above 30 percent, which is a 55 percent increase from its 2017 figures. This was followed by the United Kingdom at just above 15 percent, which is a 15 percent rise compared to the same period in 2017.
Chinese travelers, although not accounting for the highest share of package demand, showed one of the highest year-on-year increases – 190% compared to the same period in 2017. 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.